Greenway Cupid’s Chase races to benefit Community Options

February 08, 2018 | Paducah Sun online

Kimberly McNail, the director of supported employment at Community Options, shows one of the T-shirts given to runners in Saturday's fifth annual Cupid's Chase, a fundraising racing event for Community Options.

Kimberly McNail, the director of supported employment at Community Options, shows one of the T-shirts given to runners in Saturday’s fifth annual Cupid’s Chase, a fundraising racing event for Community Options.

The Greenway Trail in Paducah will be the site for a pair of Valentine’s weekend races that will help raise funding for Community Options Inc.

Community Options opened in Paducah in 2013, providing services to people with disabilities to help them find jobs and make themselves more self-sustaining. Proceeds from the races – called “Cupid’s Chase” – will help fund Community Options services.

“The services we do are case management services, assisting individuals with disabilities to kind of pull all the different team members together and help (those with disabilities) get the services that they need,” said Paducah executive director Ann Hoye. “We do supported employment and we do residential services, so we help individuals be independent in the community.”

Kimberly McNail, who is the director of supported employment at Community Options, gets job referrals for the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

“We assist individuals that are referred to us, whether they’re in our residential program or they live in their own home or their family’s home,” she said.

“We help them with getting jobs in the community and matching them with employers, based on the employers’ skills and the individuals’ needs and wants.”

There are 58 Community Options locations in 11 states, including Paducah, Bowling Green and Alexandria in Kentucky and Nashville, Chattanooga and Cookeville in Tennessee.

Cupid’s Chase includes 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) and 10-kilometer (6.2-mile) races to be held Saturday along the Greenway Trail. The registration begins at 8 a.m. at the intersection of Broadway and Water streets, and the races begin at 9 a.m.

The race will involve runners, walkers, strollers and wheelchairs to help raise funds for Community Options.

“All of the Community Options sites nationwide do the race on the same day,” McNail said.

Cupid’s Chase serves as a fundraiser for Community Options and its programs. The Paducah Cupid’s Chase began in 2014, marking its fifth year.

“It’s held on the Saturday before Valentine’s Day,” Hoye said. “So, they like to pull in the Cupid theme, so even on the T-shirts that the runners will wear, it says whether they are available or unavailable. Last year, there were about 80 runners. This year, we’re hoping to have people come, and if they don’t want to run, they can volunteer to help us run the event and just get to know who we are and what we do.”

The entry fee is $30 through Friday and $40 at the race. Race bags can be picked up from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday at Community Options at 329 N. Fifth St. More information about the race can be found at www.cupidschase.org or by calling Community Options at 270-444-9470. Information about Community Options can be found at www.comop.org

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