Tribune-Courier News Editor
BENTON — After the weekend’s Mudicine Run, the Marshall County Free Clinic is $12,700 closer to opening its doors in January.
The Rev. Tim Polley, chairman of the Free Clinic’s board of directors, said the clinic generated the sum with entry fees from 400 runners, donations and a chili luncheon after the run.
“My take is Marshall County is getting behind the Free Clinic,” Polley said. “Once the community embraces a cause, they really encircle it.”
Polley said the Free Clinic is about $10,000 to $15,000 away from its opening goal of $60,000.
He added the clinic is already incurring expenses with utility bills, the salary of its paid executive director, and insurance costs. Once it reaches its $60,000 goal, the clinic will need ongoing contributions to pay expenses and for supplies. All medical care from doctors and nurses and other providers will be donated. Other volunteer assistance will be needed in the clinic’s office.
“We also need to purchase office equipment and need things any other office would need,” Polley said.
Sandy David, chairwoman of the clinic’s fundraising committee, said Saturday’s Mudicine Run began in the woods near the Doctors’ Office Building near the former Marshall County Hospital. The run offered both a 5-kilometer and 1-kilometer course.
“We had five obstacles along the course,” Sandy David said. “There was a culvert tube, a slide, some ropes to crawl under, and then the runners had to go through 150-or-so tires. At the end, there was a 3-foot mud pit before the finish line.”
Sandy David said teams assumed names and dressed in costume.
Support from the Mudicine Run came from the Benton Police Department, Marshall County Sheriff’s Office, the Marshall County Rescue Squad and helicopter evacuation teams.
“The National Guard acted like drill sergeants, and yelled at runners to keep them moving,” Sandy David said.
Sandy David added the Mudicine Run will be an annual event, with next year’s event featuring more obstacles.
Kristen David serves as the clinic’s assistant executive director.
“I think people really enjoyed it,” Kristen David said. “Usually, for an event like this, people have to go to some of the bigger cities.
This was a fun time for everyone that mixed up what could have been just a normal run.”
The Free Clinic is planning a second fundraiser in the spring. Kristen David said details will be released as plans are made.
Polley is hopeful residents, civic groups and churches will make regular contributions to the free clinic. He added governmental assistance to the working uninsured or under-insured is rarely available, and the clinic depends on private donations.