Holiday season in full swing: Community comes together

Sophomore Macy Svoboda and eighth graders Payton Andel and Shelby Hein run in Staching Through the Snow. The girl’s basketball team will be signed up again to participate next year.

Cassie Navrkal

The third annual Staching Through the Snow 5k was held Sat., Nov. 19 in honor to keep Stuff the Cruiser going in memory of the late Sheriff Mark Hecker.

Tiffany Heins, daughter of Mark Hecker, was asked to continue the Stuff the Cruiser after her father passed. She thought tying the race in with the event would be an effective way to get the community involved.  

“I signed the girl’s basketball team up for the run to make a difference in the community and to spread cheer,” Head Girls Basketball Coach Nathan Wall stated. “It’s also a good way for the girls to condition and come together.”

Everyone who competes in the run has different reasons to participate. Senior Kennedy Hecker runs for her family and to get involved in the community. She also helped the cheerleaders with water stations. Wall runs to be apart of the community and to know he is helping out, while Heins runs as the race is in honor of her father.

“Helping makes me understand it’s a good cause and it’s remembering Mark in a good way,” Kennedy Hecker said.

The effect this event has on the family and community is tremendous. Heins has learned through all of this that her father taught her about giving back to others.

“It’s been overwhelming with the schools and the amount of student body from the schools participating and all the other participants, but my goal is to try and spread the word on how you can do little things to make a big difference and to teach others at a young age is well worth it,” Heins stated. “It continues to humble me every year how it has grown.”

After the race they began to plan for next year. Heins claimed it gets easier to plan every year, and it’s great to find other businesses to help make it a positive community activity. She appreciates seeing how many people donate their time and how the numbers of participants increase.

“It’s hard during the holiday season, and I was always told by my father to take the days one at a time,” Heins said. “This brings people together and brings families together. There’s more positive than negative during this run.”