Thousands of people – from tiny tikes to senior citizens – will line the streets of Cottleville next month for the 7th annual St. Patrick’s Day 7K Run for the Helmet and Parade.
But before the barricades go up and the runners and floats take to the streets, many volunteers and sponsors are still needed to ensure another successful event and ultimately benefit local charities.
All proceeds from the events are passed through the St. Patrick’s Foundation, which helps local nonprofits within the community.
“Most participants believe the run and parade are sponsored by the city of Cottleville; however, it is the hard work of the St. Pat’s Foundation and its many volunteers that is responsible for bringing this event and others to the city,” said Mike Reiter, parade chairman. “We also wanted to bring focus to the city of Cottleville in showing the beauty and growth over the past several years. The huge exposure through advertising via radio, television, print, online and word of mouth hopefully benefits all those of Cottleville.”
Last year more than 65,000 spectators took in the parade, which this year will begin at Cottleville Parkway and Weiss Road at noon on March 14. Head Coach Jeff Fisher of the St. Louis Rams will serve as this year’s parade marshal.
Prior to the parade, runners will take their marks for the 7K Run for the Helmet. A 2-mile fun run will follow for the less competitive runners.
New this year is the Blarney Bash, an all-inclusive private party spot and viewing area. For $60 per person, adults can watch the parade from a prime viewing location in the Bud Light Beer Garden equipped with large screen televisions. The Blarney Bash also includes beer and soda, snacks, a souvenir cup and private, clean restrooms.
But the festivities around the run and parade actually start a week earlier at The Green Tie Gala, sponsored by Old Hickory Golf Club, on March 7. Honoring Irish Man of the Year Don Kalicak, the gala will feature an auction, food and an open bar for $100 a person. Proceeds will benefit the McAuley Playground in Cottleville.
Over the last six years, Reiter said about $535,000 has been raised for local charities. The foundation hopes to raise $160,000 for local charity this year.
To put on an event of this magnitude, more than 150 volunteers are needed. Volunteers will work for several days before the event helping with packet pick up, and setting up for the race. Volunteers also are needed during and after the parade to help the public with shuttles and assisting with clean-up – to name a few necessary chores.
“Parade marshals will be needed along the parade route from 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,” Reiter said. “They will receive a volunteer T-shirt, while having the best seat on the parade route and a hospitality tent afterward. Other non-profit organizations are welcome to work for donations to their 501(c) 3 charities.”
Reiter said a cleanup crew of 20 to 30 people also is needed for about three hours on Sunday morning.
Potential volunteers and sponsors can find detailed information at www.stpatparade.org.