Press Releases

Runners close the streets of downtown Akron to benefit Foodbank

Dec 18, 2017

Early Saturday morning, Dec. 16, more than 1,300 individuals and families, including several furry, four-legged friends, celebrated the meaning of the holiday season at the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank’s fifth annual Selfless Elf 5k.

The inches of snow piled high along the race route didn’t deter race participants who ran or walked the 3.1-mile course beginning and ending at the Foodbank’s 83,000 sq. ft. warehouse just outside downtown Akron. More than $80,000 was raised, the equivalent of more than 320,000 meals, that will be distributed by nearly 500 hunger-relief partners in the Foodbank’s 8-county service area.

“Thank you so much for your continued support of the Foodbank, the annual Selfless Elf 5k and our neighbors in need this holiday season,” exclaimed Foodbank President & CEO Dan Flowers, atop a scissor lift 20 feet in the air. “Because of your dedication and support, we exceeded our fundraising goal and will be able to distribute even more meals to our hungry neighbors. To me, this is the meaning of Christmas.”

Race participants were given the iconic stripped elf socks upon registration, and wore them proudly running the streets of downtown Akron. Many participants stopped by the water station outside the Akron RubberDucks field at Canal Park to listen to tunes played by 91.3 The Summit. Santa’s favorite milk and cookies were available in the Foodbank warehouse after the race, along with a fun Santa photo booth experience and music from Celebration in Sound DJ service.

“It’s so great to see so many of our friends on a Saturday morning in December,” exclaimed Event Specialist Megan Birman. “The energy in the warehouse, the excitement of the race participants and their family members, the encouragement from local businesses along the race route – this event truly showcases our community coming together for a very important cause.”

Overall top female runner was Macy McAdams, 18, of Medina. Overall top male runner was Nathan Moore, 14, of Uniontown. The VIP Elf raising more than $2,800 was Ivan Zenovic, 57, of Jackson, he’s been recognized as the top VIP Elf for the past five years! For more information on runner and walker winners in each category, visit 

A special thank you to title sponsor Shearer’s Foods for their support of the event.