A Kitten Place, which helps local cats and kittens, is holding its first 5K this month.

This Halloween weekend, animal lovers looking for a way to have fun and help out a local organization should break out their running shoes. A Kitten Place (AKP) is hosting its first 5K and 1-mile fun run to raise funds to directly help kittens and cats in the local rescue.

This event, the first for the rescue, is organized by Alicia Pollock and will take place on Saturday, October 30 starting at 8:30 a.m.

“With COVID numbers increasing, we wanted a way to bring everyone together and be able to fundraise,” said Pollock. “We decided on a 5K so it can be held outside, and everyone can socially distance as needed. We have recently taken in several critical kittens that have required surgeries and hospitalizations. We are fundraising to help offset the medical bills that we have acquired.”

The group is hoping to attract 75 to 100 participants, and costumes are encouraged.

“We started this rescue in 2019. We were not up and running long before COVID hit and everything shut down,” said Pollock. “We have an amazing group of volunteers and supporters during these times. Some of our supporters do so virtually. We are really looking forward to having an event where everyone can get together and finally meet in person.”

The event will take place in the Twin Lakes neighborhood off Bloomingdale Ave. and River Hills Pkwy.

“The area has a beautiful lake and a large, tree-covered play area for the kids,” said Pollock. “We also felt this was centrally located for our volunteers and supporters who live anywhere from Lakeland to the Apollo Beach area.”

Registration that takes place between Friday, October 15 and Wednesday, October 27 is $55 and includes an event T-shirt, medal and snacks and beverages. Sponsorship opportunities are also available.

“My wife, Robin, and I have been involved with AKP and their foster program for about two years now,” said Title Sponsor Rob Silver Dynamic Painting. “Having adopted cats from AKP and fostering kittens and cats until they find a forever home, I thought it was a great opportunity to help out this wonderful organization as they’re always in need of donations.”

All proceeds go directly to the care of the cats and kittens in the rescue, which focuses on neonatal kittens, pregnant moms and medically needy kittens. Funds will go towards the medical bills, the purchase of food and litter and funding vetting for adoptees.

To learn more or to register, visit www.akittenplace.org.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.