Historic Orange Mound Stands Up!

by Jerome Robinson and Alden Zuck | Nov 16, 2017

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One evening Britney Thornton met a native Orange Mound resident, Cynthia Moore, who is a runner with Black Girls Run. She mentioned to her that “Orange Mound should have a 5k!” and she agreed to the idea. Britney set out to mention the prospective 5k idea to a JUICE board member, Adrianna Sharkey, who enjoyed the idea and created the name “Round The Mound”. It was that simple — the quintessential dream turned into reality.

Orange Mound should have a 5k!

JUICE Orange Mound has not always been an organization, it wasn’t until Britney decided to move back to her hometown in Orange Mound that it began to sprout. Four years ago she was brought back to this lovely town through Teach for America and became involved as a young community leader for three years while entertaining a career as a teacher. As the career came to a close, she realized that she desired to act upon her passions and ideas, so she became the founder of JUICE Orange Mount on December 6, 2016.

 

Getting the 5K off the ground wasn’t all that simple, as only 2 of the organizers had 5K planning experience, therefore they had to rely heavily on sources found online and many favors from folks around town! Even after many challenges such as finding sponsors and dealing with the lack of knowledge for planning the event, Historic Orange Mound created a remarkable event in history. Ms. Esther Jones put it best as her excitement was spreading into others at the registration table by stating, “We just made history!”.

“We Just Made History!” Said the cheerleader of Orange Mound.

“There were a number of highlights that I hope to never forget from the first 5K. I had the honor of seeing the first finishers of the race and met two high school students from Craigmont High School who told me that this was their first 5K. Hearing this really touched me as these students will forever remember their first 5K and have something positive to recall as an experience in Historic Orange Mound.”

The community that exists in Historic Orange Mound is authentic and can offer anything that the most attractive neighborhoods in the city of Memphis can offer. Britney Thornton describes the Orange mound best as a “close-knit community with a rich history and clear capacity to revitalize our own community”. They are accepting of all different types of people and are heavily against gentrification. The community even stepped up at the 5K event to lend a helping hand at all times on the day of the run.

“We are overly grateful for our beloved community of Historic Orange Mound which serves as a motivation for our work each day.”

“I first want to honor God for giving me the unique experiences in my life which have allowed me to lay a solid foundation and framework for JUICE Orange Mound. Secondly, I want to thank Cynthia Moore and Adrianna Sharkey for being the first followers and believers in this idea”. Britney was beyond thankful for the many supporters, attendees, and sponsors that contributed to this event such as the Round the Mound Planning Committee, the Orange Mound Community Council, the JUICE board, The Tee Shirt Lab, and The Mid-South Gastroenterology Group.

The first Round the Mound 5K was a success, as they had 185 registrations, 50 volunteers, 25 sponsors, and were able to raise $5,092 to go back into Historic Orange Mound! As they plan to continue to press into their passion to pour into the community, they have set their annual goal to $12,000 so that they are able to fund their community projects. The team is looking forward to all going Round The Mound in 2018 and hope to see you there!

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