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The Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis will hold the 16th annual BUG Chase 5K run on Jan. 13, 2024 at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium located at 3450 Ortiz Avenue in Fort Myers. The race will benefit the Fort Myers-Metro Kiwanis Club’s BUG (Bring Up Grades) program and other local club sponsored youth service projects. Participants can find the link to register online at MetroMcGregorKiwanis.com and clicking on fundraisers. Due to the nature of the course the race is capped at 400 registered runners. Sponsorship opportunities are now available starting at the $100 level.

The course, supervised by Endurance Sports Timing, travels the trails at the nature center and a portion of the asphalt bike path on Ortiz and will be timed with bib tag technology. Packet pick up will take place 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on both Jan. 6 and Jan. 7. Race day packet pick up will take place from 7 a.m.-7:45 a.m. Race day registration begins at 7 a.m. and race time is 8 a.m. Adult discounted pre-registration up to Dec. 1 is $25, Dec. 2- Jan. 12 registration is $30 and race day registration is $35. Youth (17-and-under) discounted pre- registration is $15, Dec. 2- Jan. 12 registration is $20 and race day registration is $25. The first 200 runners registered will be guaranteed a short-sleeve commemorative t-shirt in performance material, race bag and refreshments. Runners must register by Dec. 1 to ensure their t-shirt size. Overall and age group awards for the 5K run will be presented.

All proceeds benefit the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis BUG (Bring Up Grades) program, designed to provide recognition to local elementary students who raise their grades to an acceptable range and maintain or continue to raise them from one grading period to the next, and other local club sponsored youth service projects. Schools that have been supported by the club’s BUG program include Littleton Elementary, Rayma C. Page Elementary and Orangewood Elementary.

In addition to the BUG program, the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis Club also supports the following sponsored leadership programs: Aktion Club at LARC, Circle K International (CKI) at Florida Gulf Coast University, Key Club at FSW Collegiate High, Builders Club at Cypress Lake Middle and K-Kids at Dr. Carrie D. Robinson Littleton Elementary School. The club funded multi-sensory rooms at Tropic Isles Elementary, NFM Academy for the Arts, Heights Elementary, Rayma C. Page Elementary and James Stephens Elementary. The club supplies a world atlas to either every fourth or third grade student at the following schools: Rayma C. Page Elementary, Heights Elementary, Orangewood Elementary, Littleton Elementary and James Stephens Elementary.

The Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis club also supports many other organizations including Pine Manor Improvement Association, March of Dimes, The Salvation Army, Ronald McDonald House, Early Learning Coalition of SWFL, Children’s Network of SWFL, Healthy Start SWFL, Gulf Coast Humane Society, Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium and more.

For more information regarding the 16th annual Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis BUG Chase or to become a sponsor, please contact Rachel Toomey at Rachel.Toomey33@gmail.com. There is also a Facebook event page to keep updated on the event: facebook.com/events/1357642671846857

The Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis is looking for more service-minded individuals and business professionals who would like to make a direct impact on the community through volunteering. Meetings are held every Tuesday in Fort Myers. For details on joining the Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis, please call Membership Chair Linda Petrik at (239) 357-2053. Interested individuals or businesses can also email metromcgregorkiwanis@gmail.com. The Fort Myers Metro-McGregor Kiwanis can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or online at MetroMcGregorKiwanis.com.