Ready! Set! Go!

This year’s virtual Great West Chase hits the streets and sidewalks over Halloween weekend!

We need your help to make it a success—and help less fortunate students in nearby neighborhoods.

With the pandemic limiting popular events with big crowds, WOW’s fun 5k race and children’s fun run will see significant changes this year. But the great need of this year’s race beneficiary, Citrus Park Elementary School, remains unchanged.

“We wrestled with cancelling the race due to the pandemic but we have faith that Westchase and the surrounding Northwest community will rally to help us continue to help a school with a high percentage of needy children,” said Race Chair Leslie Blaze.

Rather than gathering runners together in one spot, The Great West Chase will be a virtual event that runs Oct. 30 through Nov. 1. You simply register and participate on that weekend by running or walking a complete 5K in a safe, socially distant manner. You can come up with your own preferred course or use the traditional Great West Chase Course. (See but stick to sidewalks and pedestrian crossings, of course).

Get your kids signed up and out exercising for a great cause! (Every kid who signs up will get a small trick or treat bag filled with candy when they pick up their T-shirts!) Then just post photos of your 5K run or walk (wearing your great race T-shirts!) on WOW’s Facebook group, Westchase Neighborhood News. We’ll have a special post highlighting all the participants on that site all weekend. And we’ll run a bunch of the posted photos in December’s WOW!

The focus of the virtual race is to raise money for Citrus Park Elementary to help promote greater literacy among its students. Each participant’s $25 fee will get them a T-shirt; after the event’s expenses, proceeds will be donated to the school.

Sixty-three percent of Citrus Park’s students are economically disadvantaged. Citrus Park, however, doesn’t receive Title I funds. Unlike many of the schools serving our community, Citrus Park is limited in their ability to raise funds to assist their teachers and classrooms. Your participation in this event will have a real impact on their children and allow you to give back as the holiday season kicks off.

Simply register by Oct. 5 at 8 p.m. at to receive T-shirt. The socially distant, mask-mandatory T-shirt pickup is outdoors on Thursday, Oct. 29 at the Westchase Bell Tower on Montague Street from 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. and 3-6 p.m.

If you have any questions about the race or participation, you can reach out to Race Chair Leslie Blaze at or 926-0596, Ext. 2.

By Chris Barrett, Publisher

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