In the spirit of competition, Waxahachie police officers and firefighters have squared off against each other to help the Texas Baptist Home for Children. The Texas Baptist Home has challenged both groups to gather the most participants for its annual Hero 5K that takes place Jan. 26. 

The event raises funds to support families who have adopted a child with a variety of resources and programs. The Texas Baptist Home has been in Waxahachie since 1910, when it opened its childcare facility. Some of the services it provides include adoption and foster care. 

Marketing director Jennifer Walker said the 5K run is a valuable tool as the funds it raises helps aid people throughout the year. She hopes, with the help of police officers and firefighters, that the run will continue to grow.

“The race starts at 9 a.m. and is in Getzendaner Park,” Walker said. “This year we have challenged the fire and police departments to see how many people they can get to become supporters of the race. 

“All the donations and proceeds go to our adoption services,” she said. “We are not out of the picture after they have adopted because they need that support and encouragement throughout that time. So, this 5K goes to help support those families.”

Walker said the Texas Baptist Home does about 40 adoptions each year; it helps any family that is within a 75-mile radius within one of its offices and children from across the state. 

The run is open to the public to participate. Registration can be done online or at 8 a.m. the day of the race. 

The challenge for first responders is to see how many of their fellow brothers or sisters in uniform will come out to take part in the run. First responders do receive a discount when they register.

Waxahachie firefighter Ed Konick said he looks forward to not only supporting a great cause but showing up the police department. 

“I am a big advocate for adopted children in need,” he said. “By going on a mission trip to help in a children’s home in Guatemala I have a special place in my heart for kids that need help. I will do whatever I can to get the other guys at the department on board.”

Konick said he’s confident in the physical abilities of his fellow firefighters. He expects they’ll at least go the distance with the police department because their “endurance is higher than most officers’.”

Waxahachie Police community relations officer O.T. Glidewell shared Konick’s thoughts about the valuable service the Texas Baptist Home provides to the community.

“You can’t think of a better organization that works to help kids and families,” Glidewell said. “We are excited to be a part of this and it is neat how they have opened it up to everyone to take part.”

Glidewell feels confident in the police department’s victory over the firefighters. He notes the fire department shouldn’t boast too hard about what it will bring to the race. 

“We like to keep it classy at the police department and like to let our actions speak for themselves,” Glidewell said. “We have beaten them in the last four city competitions we have taken part in.” 

For more information about the race, how to register or the Texas Baptist Home for Children, visit its website at www.tbhc.org. People who don’t want to race but still want to support the mission of the TBHC can sign up as a virtual runner to donate.

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