Conway JA presents inaugural Frozen Feet 5K

by Erin Nipper

Santa, hot chocolate, prizes and crazy costumes, all for a good cause — that’s what’s in store at the Junior Auxiliary of Conway’s inaugural Frozen Feet 5K.

“[The race] will be our largest annual fundraiser,” said Heather Swanson, this year’s Junior Auxiliary president and co-chair for the race. “Participants are encouraged to show their holiday spirit by dressing in cute, fun and crazy costumes. Santa is also planning to make an appearance to cheer on all the runners and walkers. Also, we will be collecting new and gently used socks, gloves, mittens, hats and scarves throughout the morning. All donations will be delivered to Faulkner County schools.”

The race will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8 at the Conway High School track at John McConnell Stadium. It will follow a USSA approved course. 

Proceeds from the race will allow JA to expand its outreach. Founded in 1964, the Junior Auxiliary focuses on children in the area.

“Our chapter is proud to provide monthly support to HAVEN (Help for Abuse Victims in Emergency Need) by providing a monthly fellowship meal, donations of clothing, personal hygiene products and other special needs as needed,” Swanson said.

Junior Auxiliary also supports area organizations such as Bethlehem House, Child Protective Services, CAPCA (Community Action Program of Central Arkansas), CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) and Independent Living Services, with events for interested participants year-round. JA also puts on camps and programs each year to teach children about issues ranging from safety to self-confidence.

“Annually we partner with Conway Regional Health System to host Safety Town, a week-long summer camp, teaching more than 100 incoming kindergartners the importance of school, community and home safety,” Swanson said. 

“One of our newest projects is Empower Me, a half-day camp occurring in the spring for girls entering fifth and sixth grades. Highlights of the camp include Internet safety, inner and outer beauty and other topics related to the life of a pre-teen.”

At the end of the year, Junior Auxiliary will close out 2012 with two service projects that will help Faulkner County families in need.

“The chapter will adopt 15-20 families in the Head Start program and will provide Christmas presents to all the children in those families,” Swanson said. 

“The chapter has a goal to collect 700 cans of corn for CAPCA food boxes and will work with various organizations in the community to hand out the food boxes in late December.”

In the spring, a charity event called “Art With a Heart” will be organized for CASA. The event will feature a silent auction featuring artwork from local artists as well as art by children served by CASA.

To register for the 5K, visit All proceeds from this event will help the Junior Auxiliary continue its efforts to help children in need.