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Inaugural 5K supports school’s backpack program

Francis Howell North High held a 5K to raise money for Henderson Elementary’s backpack program.

The Francis Howell North High football team recently held its first-ever Knights Give Bear Necessities 5K benefiting Bear Necessities, a program at Henderson Elementary that provides food to students in need.

The program currently feeds more than 60 students, and partners with Harvester Church of the Nazarene to feed these students over the weekend when they can’t get school lunches. FHN Football Coach Brett Bevill, an alum of Henderson and FHN, heard about Bear Necessities and saw an opportunity for the team to help its community.

The 5K route began in the FHN football stadium, traveled through Laurel Park and ended with a dash to the 50-yard line. The football players cheered on the participants and threw passes to the finishers.

“It’s important to support local backpack food programs such as Bear Necessities,” Bevill said. “Those that don’t know where or when their next meal is coming from are given the comfort in knowing that programs like this exist to help.”

While this year’s event was a success, Bevill already has big plans for next year. “The first year was great, but I really see it growing to a much bigger event,” he said.

To further support Bear Necessities, the football team also designated its Oct. 5 game against Francis Howell High as a Bear Necessities game. Discounted tickets were offered to anyone who brought food to donate. The food and the money raised from the 5K was presented to Bear Necessities at halftime.

“We were very touched by the kindness of others to take care for our students,” Henderson teacher and Bear Necessities organizer Tonya Bratsch said. “When students’ basic needs are met, they can come to school better prepared to be ready to learn.”

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