On a warm and sunny, December 16, 2017 runners gathered at Big Grove Brewery, in Iowa City for running, cookies, giving back, and ugly sweaters.

Event organizers Michael Price and Angie Maske-Berka saw the need for a December event in the Corridor and after a post on social media, vowed to “make it happen!”

Details of the event were posted on the Corridor Running Facebook page. Participants would show up at the brewery, wearing an ugly sweater, with a tray of cookies, and if able, a donation for Shelter House.

Runners could then choose to run up to 4 miles along the Iowa River on an out and back course. When they returned to Big Grove, the cookie trays were set up to determine the best cookie. A trophy was on the line for the best baker.

While cookie nominations were tallied, random prizes were raffled off and the best ugly sweater was crowned.

Beer and food was available for purchase while a hot chocolate bar was provided.

Angelica Vannatta and Alex Stanton from Shelter House were in attendance to collect winter coats, pillows, blankets and cash.

Shelter House was honored and excited to be a part of a unique and fun event which will surely be a hit with runners and donors for years to come! We jumped at the chance to partner with Corridor Running; a top-notch organization who makes a distinct and positive impact in the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City communities. Our staff & volunteers enjoyed the event and loading up several cars with coats, gloves/hats, socks, blankets, and pillows was just as fun as seeing the runners in their finest, ugliest sweaters. The timing was perfect to tie into our Out of the Cold campaign which aims to serve clients throughout the winter months at both our low-barrier and main emergency shelter. Thankfully, winter item donations received at the fun run were disbursed to shelter clients just in time for the cold snap to arrive in Iowa! Cash donations and Corridor Running’s matching gift helped to meet our financial needs to cover the range of programs and services that keeps those experiencing homelessness out of the winter cold and helps them get back on their feet and reconnect with the community. For more information about Shelter House, visit https://shelterhouseiowa.org. Be sure to check out the “How to Help” tab!

At the end of the day, Angie had this to say, “Not only is it rewarding to give back to the community, I had a lot of fun working with Michael, his enthusiasm for running, made the event a success. I am looking forward to working together again to make the 2018 event even better!”