Arkadelphia nonprofit plans cancer walk fundraiser

Soldiers of Service, an Arkadelphia nonprofit, is heading up a relay walk to raise money for the American Cancer Society.

A car giveaway will be highlighting the April 29 event.

The fundraiser, a first of its kind for organizer Jason McCready, is expected to unite the community and take the place of Clark County Relay for Life events, which fizzled out during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Soldiers of Service Walkathon will be the first local relay fundraiser since 2019. It’s time now, McCready said, to start giving back again.

Admission to the event is $10, or free for veterans, children 12 and younger or those who arrive wearing an event T-shirt, which can be ordered at A-Town Fitness for $20. Methods of payment include cash, CashApp or checks made payable to Soldiers of Service. Shirts will be available to pick up April 24-28.

The Walkathon is scheduled for 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. Saturday, April 29, 2023, at Badger Stadium.

In addition to the Walkathon, activities will include an Army National Guard 90-foot obstacle course, a Marine Corps pull-up contest, a dunking booth, mobile mammogram unit and a blood drive. Additionally, an Arkansas State Police helicopter is expected to make a landing at the Badgers practice field, and there will be showcases by local police and fire departments. There will also be a Bible booth giveaway, and Third Street Baptist Church will provide lunch.

One lucky winner will drive away in a 2023 Chevrolet Trailblazer. Soldiers of Service will post a live Facebook video on April 15 at Southwest Auto Collection, where 10 tickets will be drawn to determine the finalists. Those 10 finalists must be present at the Walkathon to be eligible to participate in the final drawing.

Tickets are $25 apiece or $100 for five. Ticket locations for the vehicle giveaway include A-Town Fitness, Southern Bancorp, Citizens Bank, Two Rivers Federal Credit Union, Hamburger Barn, Slim & Shorty’s, and Samantha’s Bakery and Cafe.

Soldiers of Service was formed in 2019 when McCready had the idea to give back to his community. It’s a volunteer-based organization: “We’re Christian patriots loving thy neighbor,” said McCready, a Marine Corps veteran who is a personal trainer at A-Town Fitness. To date, Soldiers of Service has spearheaded two garbage pickup events. The first Trash Wars was held in 2019, followed by a two-year pause during the pandemic and reigniting in 2022.

If the cancer awareness Walkathon is anything like the Trash Wars, it will be an event that shows promise for growth. The first Trash Wars had 75 volunteers and collected 150 bags of trash, and Trash Wars 2 had double the number of volunteers and trash collected.

“My ultimate goal is to keep building my team,” McCready said, “and to get bigger with more volunteers.”

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2 replies »

  1. Where can I find information on Solders of Service? Google doesn’t return any results, I can’t find an entry in either the National or Arkansas nonprofit database, nor does their Facebook page list any information on their nonprofit information.

    • Thank you for your comment. The organizer has filed for nonprofit status but the filing has yet to be finalized. You can learn more about this organization through its social media accounts: Clark County SOS (Instagram) or Soldiers of Service (Facebook).