Fiddler’s Green is inviting the community to help raise funds, then raise a pint during the 15th Annual Fiddler’s 5K on Saturday, Feb. 25. Proceeds will benefit Habitat for Humanity of Winter Park-Maitland and Conductive Education Center for Orlando (CECO).
“We like to call it a fun run, but we do have serious participants,” Fiddler’s Green owner Donal O’Brien told the32789. “It’s just basically having a bit of fun, and at the same time raising money for a couple of really good causes.”
According to O’Brien, the race is part of a longstanding tradition of giving back to the community.
“We used to do a golf tournament, but a lot of our sponsors were customers,” he said. “When the recession of 2007 hit it was very hard to hit up small businesses to contribute to the tournament.”
“Fiddler’s Green has held fundraisers going back, probably 20 years,” said Fiddler’s 5K race director Jon Fox, of FOX Promotional Merchandise. “I was a runner way back when, but I was always a patron of the bar and they’ve always been very involved with the community.”
The 5K was the opus of the pub’s former manager who was also an avid runner; and the Fidds Gives nonprofit was started to support the event. “We’re all volunteers, we’re all looking to give back and to have some fun while we do it,” Fox said of his fellow committee members.
The race begins at 7:30 a.m. at Mead Botanical Garden, and winds through Winter Park’s tree-lined pathways. Supporters can make a direct donation, support a runner, and purchase one of 200 “Golden Tickets” for a chance to win roundtrip airfare for two to Ireland.
After the race, participants and supporters are invited to an after-party featuring live Irish music and dancers. Runners will receive a free beverage coupon they can redeem at the party, or at some point during the year.
Since its launch, the Fiddler’s 5K has raised more than $350,000 for Central Florida charities. Approximately 700 runners participated in last year’s event and organizers are hoping for more this year.
“The committee puts an awful lot of work into this, all out of the goodness of their hearts,” said O’Brien. “There’s no ego, everyone’s just doing it together.”
To register, sponsor a participant, or make a donation, visit the Fiddler’s 5K website.