By CHAIMAE EL ADLOUNI and ASHLEY LEUNG
On Oct. 20, 2013, Friends of Oak Grove, Inc. (FOOGI) hosted the eighth annual FOOGI 5K Haunt Jaunt . The FOOGI 5K is a road race where participants get together and show up in their wildest costumes, ready to run, or walk. A fun and healthy way to meet your next door neighbor or “someone you [might] have never know,” said Mayor Gary Christenson, who attended the race dressed as a traffic guard.
As laughter filled the early morning air, many participants from different schools and cities came to join the festivities. Music from the Zumba dance instructors and runners in cool costumes filled the day. The main goal is to “bring everyone together and make it a fun run everyone can enjoy,” according to FOOGI’s vice president, Jacqueline Bouley. FOOGI began eight years ago in hopes of “bringing [the] community together”, and what started off small began “spreading citywide.” It is a nonprofit organization that helps serve the Oak Grove area.
The day kicked off with Zumba dances from the court cardio. Wacky costumes all around, even some of the volunteer got into the zone and dressed up to cheer for the runners and walkers. Many organizations joined the event to bring togetherness to the community including “the Bread of Life, the court cardio and others.” Then, a cultural dragon dance which led to the singing of the national anthem from freshman Maya Haze. Starting the race with the national anthem was a great way to excite the participants. It started from the Oak grove council building, around the cemetery near Forestdale and led back the same way, a 3.1 mile race.
The racers began to make their way to the finish line, to be greeted with a medal and a FOOGI council member dressed as Sully from Monsters Inc. One by one the racers finished and were cheered on by volunteers, many whom were Malden High School students.