Hitting the trail to help a local nonprofit

Fred McCormick
Black Mountain News

A Ridgecrest church and a local running store staged a trail run April 30 to raise money for the Black Mountain Home for Children.

Vertical Runner and Passion Fellowship Church hosted about two dozen runners for the Community Passion Run, which brought in more than $1,000 for the local nonprofit.

All told, a few dozen runners and walkers, including staff and children from Black Mountain Home, participated in the event, according to Trent Holbert, who launched the church in April.

Trent Holbert gives a thumbs up as he leads a group of runners up a trail in Ridgecrest.

“I’m a church planter from Kentucky,” he said. “I came down here through the North Carolina Baptist Convention. (Ridgecrest Baptist Church) approached us back in January and asked if we would use their facility to get started.”

The church, Holbert said, promotes “not just spiritual fitness, but physical fitness.”

“I’m a runner, and (Verticle Runner) is my go-to running store,” Holbert said of Vertical Runner. “When I was 'planting' in Kentucky, we always tried to partner with local businesses to help bolster the local economy and bless others.”

He enlisted the cooperation of Shaun Pope, the owner of Vertical Runner.

“We wanted to find a way to partner together and do something for someone in the community,” Holbert said. “All of the donations go to the Black Mountain Home for Children.”

Trent Holbert points out signs with the Passion Fellowship Church logo that mark the trail during an April 30 community run in Ridgecrest.

Black Mountain Home, located in Black Mountain since 1922, is a private, nonprofit organization that accepts children from the N.C. Department of Social Services. It provides services for children from birth through college graduation. The home operates residential, foster care, transitional living and independent living programs, among others. 

Runners participating in the two-mile run were asked to make donations to the home. 

"We collected socks and foot powder before the race so we had a box full of those items," Holbert said. "We're collecting cash donations on the day of the run, so we can write a check (to BMH) when we come back and eat."

It was Pope's idea, according to Holbert, to have the first Community Passion Run benefit the home.

"Being new here, I didn't know all of the places in the area," he said. "I asked Shaun who he thought might have a practical need, and he mentioned the Black Mountain Home."

Holbert said he hopes to make the Community Passion Run a regular event

Following its initial success, Holbert said he hopes to make the Community Passion Run a regular event.