November 30, 2012

Dalton swim coach hosts 5K for missions

When George News expressed a desire to go on a mission trip, his girlfriend and her parents wanted to help make it happen.

News, an assistant coach for Dalton High’s swim team and the Carpet Capital Aquatics Club, a Dalton-based year-round USA Swimming program, will join Britni Brannon and her family in hosting a 5K trail run Sunday in Ranger, to raise money to help pay for their mission trip to Zambia in January. The event, Run for Zambia, will begin at 7:45 a.m.

News, a Dalton resident, has wanted to do a mission trip but never found the chance. Brannon, his girlfriend, has been on one before.

“I’ve never actually done one. I’ve wanted to for several years,” he said. “Between the swimming and all the other different stuff I end up doing, it just happened to come together. I don’t know how it did.

“Her parents and her, as soon as they found out I wanted to do it, they started looking into it.”

Brannon and her family all live in Calhoun, and the race will take place on the property of Brannon’s parents, who have hosted two other races in the past to sponsor student mission trips. The address is 352 White Graves Road.

“Because it’s getting sort of cold, it’s harder to do those summer fundraisers,” News said of the decision to do a race instead of other ventures.

He competes in “a couple” races a year, mostly sticking to local ones. That made it easier to find a “unique way to raise money.

“Back when we were picked to be on this mission trip, from there we had to start figuring out how much it costs, what plane flights cost and how we’re going to pay for it. I’m just a swim coach, so I don’t make that much money. Neither does Britni.”

They started organizing the event around two months ago and plan for around 300 people to compete. Online registration for the race is available at www.active.com through today. The cost is $20 while race-day registration is $25.

Those who plan to register on the day of the race are asked to show up at 7 a.m.

“Most of the people we have talked to will sign up for race day anyway,” News said.

The pair will join Brannon’s parents as a group of around 100 through Maranatha Volunteers International. The group will construct numerous one-day school buildings to provide Seventh-Day Adventist secondary education to Zambian children. Other missionary opportunities on the trip include hosting a vacation Bible school for kids and a medical clinic.

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