jingle bell run

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COLUMBIA – People from Columbia and neighboring cities came together to run the annual Jingle Bell Run hosted by the Arthritis Foundation in partner with MU Health Care.

This 5k is the longest-running holiday 5k in the nation and has been running for more than 20 years. The nationwide run takes place in Kansas City, St. Louis and Columbia in Missouri.

This year, the race garnered more than 400 participants.

The event aims to raise funds for arthritis research. According to the foundation, more than 50 million adults in the United States have arthritis. There are also more than 100 types of arthritis.

“Our teams have been raising money for months now to help support our mission of serving those 1 in 4 Americans that suffer with daily challenges of arthritis,” said Cheri Fitts, the executive director of the foundation’s St. Louis office.

She said the foundation wants to focus on raising money to provide more services for educational days for parents of kids with juvenile arthritis.  

Anna Diggs, a mother of a young girl with juvenile arthritis, said the Arthritis Foundation and the Jingle Bell Run have helped them throughout the years.

“We’ve met people from all over the country and we’ve made connections and we’ve built life long friendships with people from the Arthritis Foundation that work and volunteer,” Diggs said.

Diggs said she’s happy the race is bringing more and more people each year.

The foundation said they raised more than $30,000 this year.