Foothill Striders gives back to the community

Foothill Striders recently announced donations to several area organizations.

Group president Doug Anderson said the group had made donations to several area groups. They donated $5,000 to Friends of the Smokies, $5,000 to the Jeff Roth Foundation, $500 to the Tremont Institute, $250 to the Girls on the Run organization and $1,000 to the Amateur Radio Club.

Anderson talked about how the organization has changed in the past few years. “At times we feel like we’re an underground organization,” he said.

“Primarily what we try to do is, our focus is, let’s do something for our community, put money back into the community,” he said.

The Foothills Striders sponsor two events annually, the Tour de Blount the third Saturday in May and the Maryville College Campus Scholars Run in August of each year. “Those are the only two events our membership gets involved in where we ask them to come and help with registration or manning the course.”

The group donated $8,000 to the Blount County Education Foundation in 2004 and they donated seed money for the climbing wall at Maryville High School.

“People say these people give away lots of money, but we don’t have paid employees. Everyone volunteers their time and effort. We have good sponsors that come in and help us,” he said. “Because of that, practically every bit of the money we’re able to put back into our scholarship fund and general fund,” he said.

In the last 10 years the club has bought a used lap top computer, a projector and a speaker system. “We’ve spent roughly $1,500 on ourselves,” he said.

At one time the group was known as the Institute for Positive Living. It evolved from a group of runners to individuals who also ride bicycles, hike and do other pursuits. “Our ankles gave out and we had to try other pursuits,” he said. “They are hiking more and bicycle. We have 120 members. If you broke out the members, we’ve probably got more bicyclists now.”

For more information, call 865-621-8963 or go to www.foothillstriders.org.

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