A marathon to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of the Alma Area will be held Sept. 6 for ages 11 to 80.

Alma’s club is holding a one-mile fun walk and 5K-10K run to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Alma Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Sept. 6.

"We need our fundraiser just like every other Boys and Girls Club just to get started after summer," Alma Boys and Girls Club Director Elaina Damante said. "Summer programs really deplete the funds."

Alma’s club averaged more than 100 children per day during its summer program, Damante said.

Registration fees for the marathon are $15 for the one-mile fun walk, $25 for the 5K run and $30 for the 10K run. The deadline to register is Aug. 27. Registration is online.

Only those who register by the deadline will get a T-shirt and there is a $5 fee to register late.

There will be 14 different age categories with increments of five years, beginning with ages 11-15 and ending with ages 76-80, with medals to be awarded in all categories, said Damante.

All proceeds from the event will go to benefit the Alma club and help club staff introduce new programs, Damante said.

"Our club is geared toward taking care of our children," Damante said. "Giving them a safe place to come after school, where they can get a full dinner and snack, get their homework done, and play."

Some of the programs already offered at the club are Junior Staff, Project Learn, Healthy Habits, Cooking Class and Money Matters, all programs that help teach kids leadership, learning and life skills.

Alma’s club also partners with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, which provides science class once a week at the club.

"It is a fun learning time where we work on getting all ages involved and enjoying math and science skills," Damante said. "We create things, go outside and investigate creek water, make up sparkle goo."

Older children have more advanced projects and will be given guidance with scholarships and classes, she said.

Club kids have been growing a variety of plants in pots that they decorated and been making carved wood projects for the Crawford County Fair, Damante said.

This year Damante will be pushing for more scholastic programming, she said. She hopes to initiate two new programs this year, SMART Girls and Passport to Manhood.

According to the Boys and Girls Club of America, SMART Girls is a small-group health, fitness, prevention education and self-esteem enhancement program designed to meet the developmental needs of girls in three age groups through activities, field trips and mentoring opportunities with adult women.

Passport to Manhood promotes and teaches responsibility in boys ages 8-17 and represents a targeted effort to engage young men in discussions and activities that reinforce positive behavior.

"We want to instill good values, and keep them on a good path toward high school graduation," Damante said. "We want them to come here to have success after success. This is a fun place where positive things happen."

For more information on the marathon and how to register call (479) 632-2070.