East Tennessee residents are gearing up to sink their toes into the lush grass of Lambert Acres Golf Club in Maryville, Tenn., for the third annual Barefoot Benefit run.
Barefoot Benefit is a charity 5K race and one mile run/walk event, where shoes are permitted but not required in order to participate. The race begins at 2 p.m. on Sunday, October 21st.
The all-day event will kick off with the first of six musicians at noon. The musician line-up for the day includes Jared Henderson, Karen Reynolds, Kudzu, the Josiah Atchley Band, Shake Ragg, Michael Whitesides and Son Duo, and Shelley May and Scott.
Nicole Rammer, junior in hotel, restaurant, and tourism management, and one of the event's organizers, is very excited about the musical guests performing at the race.
"I am most excited for the expansion of our charity 5K/one mile Fun Run into a large scale music festival this year," Rammer said. "We have gone from two musicians to six bands in the course of this year's event and are very proud to showcase local, experienced talent."
All proceeds collected from participants will be donated to the Samaritan Place, one of 13 nursing homes in the nation that caters to housing low-income, in-need seniors.
Rammer is also hopeful for this year's turnout.
"Last year we had about 175 runners and we raised just over $5,000 for the Samaritan place," she said. "This year our goal is to attract 300 runners and raise over $8,000."
The race is sponsored by Pilot, Petro's Chili and Rita's Italian Ice. Petro's will also be providing lunch to all of the participants with chili and orange sweet tea. On top of that, the Barefoot Benefit team will be providing the standard "race food" consisting of bananas and other fruits.
Rammer is anxious for the final turnout of race day with all the added festivities this year.
"We have added a 'festival feel' to the event, emphasizing the musicians and food spread out on a Sunday afternoon," she said. "I know we are all so ready to finally see it in action."
Pilot, being the main sponsor of the event, has donated all of the shirts and medals for the participants. There are also many other various businesses that have donated for the raffle/prizes such as Academy Sports, Nori, Panera, Moe's, Runners Market and a few more that are being left a surprise until race day.
Martin Leamon, junior in accounting, is excited for the participants to see what the Barefoot Benefit team has planned for them.
"I'm excited to see how many people come out to the event," Leamon said. "With the bands, all the great food and prizes, and the fact that we're giving back all the proceeds, I'm just ready to see how it turns out."
Rammer is very proud of the team of students that has helped organize this event for months.
"There are five of us that have been working hard since June to put all the pieces together and we cannot wait to see the results this weekend," Rammer said. "Looking back, we have worked with never dying energy to keep calm and achieve as much as possible."
To register, participants can go to www.barefootbenefit2012.edgereg.com or can sign up at the event beginning at noon.
The costs for participating in the run are $20 for students, $25 for 'Big Brother/Sister' (includes little), and $30 for adults.