Collier nonprofit taking precautions to keep runners safe at 5K

One of the many things the pandemic has taken from us: group gatherings, which has made it tough for nonprofits to raise money.

The City of Naples has several concerts and events on the calendar a little over a month from now, but how dangerous are these large gatherings?

“You get people congregating in a large area, there is the potential for the spread of COVID-19,” said Robert Hawkes, director of Florida Gulf Coast University’s physician assistant program.

“Look at where we were six or eight weeks ago. We were having huge numbers and now we’re down… If we keep trending in the right direction, then I think that’s all positive. But it’s kind of really hard to predict what’s going to happen a month or six weeks out.”

One Collier County nonprofit – SNIP Collier – is hosting a 5K in October and taking every precaution possible to keep people safe. That includes a cap on runners, a staggered starting line, no hydration areas, no awards ceremony, and all participants must leave when they finish the race and not congregate at the finish line.

Tom Kepp, the president of SNIP Collier, said the race was already rescheduled and if they have to cancel again, it will have a huge impact.

“It’s hurt us, like I said. One of the biggest things, first of all, it’s the dollar in the sense that we get in support at these events… being a 501(c)(3), all of our money comes from donations at this point, so we lose all of that money.”

Kepp stressed they will be having a board meeting at some point in September to reevaluate, and if they have to cancel, they will.

Reporter:Nicole Lauren
Writer:Jackie Winchester
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