Organizers: “Unity Run XXIV was a great success”

The 24th Unity Run was a great success and brought so many runners, walkers and volunteers to both Gordon Central High School and Downtown Calhoun on Tuesday, Sept. 26. The total number of registered runners for the 5-K Run/Walk was 1201, while another 68 children participated in the AGC Pediatrics 1-K Kid’s Run, making the 2017 Unity Run the largest in recent years.

According to Executive Director Vickie Spence, the community comes together for this event every fall. It is the kick-off event for the United Way of Gordon County’s fundraising campaign. Traditionally, if the Unity Run is a big success, the campaign is also.

One reason this year’s run was so much larger was the number of teams walking together from businesses, banks and major firm sectors. The teams included the following banks: Century Bank, First Bank of Calhoun, Georgia Bank and Trust, Greater Community Bank and NorthSide Bank. The Small Business teams were AGC Pediatrics, Beautiful Smiles Dentistry at Red Bud, and Starr Mathews Agency. Major Firms Teams were Apache Mills, Engineered Floors, Field Turf, Mannington, Mohawk and Shaw. Teams were dressed in matching shirts and were easily recognized as they walked or ran the route. The winners in each division are: Banks had a three way tie with all three having 100 percent participation: First Bank of Calhoun, Greater Community Bank and Northside Bank. Small Business winner was Starr Mathews Insurance Agency and Major Firms winner was Field Turf. The team with the Most Overall Participants was Shaw Industries.

The Unity Run is a community event. Calhoun and Gordon County Schools provided the high school bands, cheerleaders, mascots, school buses and drivers while the Chick-fil-A cows are always cheering the 1-K and 5-K runners. The finish line on Court Street was lined with representatives from all three high schools is a tradition that is always praised by runners.

A special thanks to Gordon Central High School Principal Doug Clark and the custodial staff of the school for registration set up and John Rainwater and Rebecca Tatum for their help with the 1-K run.

The students from the Calhoun Interact Club and employees from Old Navy also volunteered to stuff the goody bags. Students from Sonoraville helped with the Unity Run sponsorship signs on the route under the leadership of Jeff DeFoor, director of the City of Calhoun Electrical Department. The City of Calhoun Fire Department, with help from the electrical department, hung the finish line banner and set up the sprinkler system for the runners. Calhoun Police and Gordon County Sheriff’s deputies handled the road closures and provided security. The Sheriff Inmate Program picked up sponsor signs and litter after the run. The Calhoun Recreation Department handled the set-up for the 5-K finish line and clean-up along with members of the Calhoun HOSA Club and United Way Board Members. Employees from Georgia Bank and Trust and North Georgia National Bank assisted board members and former board members as they handled registration. The Cherokee Capital Amateur Radio Society provided radio assistance throughout the run. Gordon EMS ambulance and EMT followed the runners and are there for emergency assistance if necessary. Donny Holmes has volunteered his DJ services for years. All the many volunteers who come each year to set up, clean up and hand out water serve as great ambassadors for our community. The 18 United Way agencies are always on the race route supporting the runners and providing the water stations. The Girl Scouts and LEJO have been in charge of the water stations for years. For the last two years, First United Methodist Church has also provided a water station.

Thanks to everyone who supported the event and made it such a success. This event could not happen without the support of the sponsors and all the runners that participate each year. Listed below are the sponsors for the 2017 Unity Run. The proceeds from this event go to support our agencies.

Platinum Sponsor

Apache Mills

Engineered Floors

Field Turf

Gordon Hospital


Nance Industries

Northwest Georgia

Orthopedics and

Sports Medicine

Shaw Industries

Turner Heating and


1-K Kid’s Run


AGC Pediatrics

Gold Sponsor


Atlanta Gas Light

Georgia Bank and


Hamilton Medical




Waffle House

Silver Sponsor

Bai Beverages

Beautiful Smiles

Dentistry at Red


Bentley Dye

Chick-fil-A of


First Bank of

Calhoun - A

Division of First


Gordon Historical


Greater Community


John Driscoll

Insurance Co.





Construction, Inc.

North Georgia

National Bank

NorthSide Bank

Nature’s Own Big

Springs Water

Owen Security


Starr Mathews

Insurance Agency


Bronze Sponsor

Alan McHan, DMD

America’s Home



Blue Almond


Brian’s Auto Sales

Calhoun Drug Co.


Downtown Calhoun

Fitness First of


Fox Systems, Inc



Technical College

Hayes Plumbing

and Electrical, Inc.


PT Solutions


Calhoun City


Calhoun High HOSA

Calhoun Times

Carpet Capital

Running Club

Cherokee Capital

Amateur Radio


City of Calhoun

Gordon County

Gordon County


Gordon EMS

Gordon Optimist