Press Releases

Runners spread holiday cheer through downtown Akron at Foodbank's sixth annual Selfless Elf

Dec 27, 2018

Early Saturday morning, Dec. 22, the Akron-Canton Regional Foodbank welcomed 1,200 race participants for its sixth annual Selfless Elf 5k. Some were dressed as Santa’s helpers, others as beloved holiday characters; everyone celebrating the spirit of the holiday season.

The event will help the Foodbank distribute more than 265,000 meals to its network of nearly 500 pantries, hot meal sites, shelters, backpack programs and other hunger-relief programs within an eight-county service area.

“We’re so grateful for all the families and friends with us here today. Your support of the Foodbank is helping families in our community struggling with hunger this holiday season, and we appreciate your commitment to our hunger-relief efforts,” said Dan Flowers, president and CEO of the Foodbank.

Race participants were given the iconic striped elf socks upon registration and wore them proudly atop their costumes and running gear. The cold weather didn’t deter the dedicated elves traveling the 3.1-mile course beginning and ending at the Foodbank’s warehouse near downtown Akron.

Runners and walkers of all ages enjoyed carolers along the race route and Santa’s favorite milk and cookies once they returned from the blustery weather outside. Families also had fun taking pictures with Santa and Mrs. Claus at a photo booth.

“It’s inspiring to see so many friends early on a Saturday morning in December,” said Event Specialist Megan Birman. “The energy and the excitement of the race participants and their families can be felt in the warehouse, and the support from local businesses along the race route is appreciated. This event truly showcases our community coming together for a very important cause, feeding people and fighting hunger this holiday season.”

Overall top female runner was Kailey Zagst, 14, of Canton. Overall top male runner was Max McAdams, 15, of Medina. The VIP Elf raising more than $3,000, helping the Foodbank provide nearly 13,000 meals with his efforts, was Ivan Zenovic of Jackson Township. Zenovic has been recognized as the top VIP Elf all six years of the race!

For more information on runner and walker winners in each category, visit 

A special thank you to title sponsor InfoCision for their support of the event.