Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

5K walk/run to promote Toys for Tots

Tuscaloosa’s first ever Reindeer Walk/Run 5K benefitting Toys for Tots will be held on Sunday at 9 a.m.

As part of the entry fee, competitors can either make a $5 donation or present an unused, unwrapped toy to promote Toys for Tots. Representatives from the organization will be accepting the donations at the race’s start, according to a press release from the event’s organizer, Five Star NTP.

Meredith Starr, a representative from Five Star NTP, said the Reindeer Walk/Run will encourage both a charitable attitude and physical fitness.

“The whole idea is to try to promote fitness, not model runway but healthy lifestyles,” Starr said. “The more opportunities you offer people, the more those who aren’t typically physically active will want to participate in.”

Competitors of all different levels of physical fitness are encouraged to participate, Starr said. The race will start and finish at the Bank of Tuscaloosa on Jack Warner Pkwy, a course she said wouldn’t be too challenging. About 100 to 150 people are expected to participate in the event.

Among those attending are Big Al and several local cheerleading squads, Starr said. Big Al will kick off the race and the cheerleaders will line the street cheering the competitors on. Also, all news media are allowed to bring a friend and race for free.

Starr said Five Star NTP has a special connection with Tuscaloosa ever since her husband began training for bodybuilding competitions here in 1989. The company hopes to affect as many people through sponsorship of charitable events such as the Reindeer Walk/Run.

“We [Five Star NTP] promote sporting events,” Starr said. “It’s something we like doing, and it’s the best way we know how to touch as many people possible. The more people we can get up off of the couch, the better.”

The main way to get people involved is to partner with charities and organizations they are familiar with, Starr said. Having the Toys for Tots name attached to the Reindeer Walk/Run has helped the event gain recognition.

“We personally have never worked with Toys for Tots,” Starr said. “But it’s an organization that people are familiar with and have a lot of respect for. Partnering with them helps us communicate our cause while providing toys for underprivileged children who might not have gotten Christmas presents otherwise.”

Five Star NTP organizes, plans and promotes sporting events with charitable causes. The company, based in Dawsonville, Ga., also operates an online nutrition store to advocate healthy eating among its clients.

For more information about the Reindeer Walk/Run, Five Star NTP, or to register for the race, visit

To find out more about Toys for Tots, and their mission, visit

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