Posted 03/25/2016

It takes a village could be the mantra behind the amount of community support and volunteers it takes to host the Murray Half Marathon and 5K which will take place on Saturday, April 16. With this being the 6th annual race, Susan Davis, Endowment Coordinator and Keith Travis, Vice President of Development at Murray-Calloway County Hospital have looked at new ways to increase awareness about the purpose of the race, participants in the race and community involvement.

This year there’s been a couple of new initiatives organized in order to achieve that goal with the first being the Poster Design Contest sponsored by Dr. David and Mrs. Jude Eldredge. The Eldredge support of Hospice began years ago as members of the Hospice Advisory Board. Dr. Eldredge presented the hospital Board of Trustees with a presentation about the benefits and costs associated with a free-standing Hospice House and they both served in various roles from the beginning to raise funds towards the hospice house.

Debi Danielson, Executive Director of the Murray Art Guild hosted and promoted the event and organized the judging and contest. The winning piece of artwork chosen was submitted by Shannon Farley of Murray out of 33 entries, and will be displayed in the future Anna Mae Owen Hospice House.

Prints are available of the winning piece and all other entries will be auctioned off at the Runner’s Expo with proceeds going towards Hospice.

The second initiative known as the Re/Max Butterfly Challenge has inspired businesses and organizations throughout the area to purchase a set of wings and challenge other groups either through a picture or video to be a part of the butterfly challenge and increase awareness about Hospice and the Murray Half Marathon. The Re/Max team including Pat Cherry, Angela Fry, Tracy Williams, Michele Francisco, and Maggie Morris have worked hard to help with the fundraiser and encourage participation throughout the community.

"My father, Mayor Bill Cherry, passed away in 2008 and I wanted to honor him by helping sponsor the butterfly challenge and raise money for such a good cause like Hospice,” said Pat Cherry, Re/Max Realtor. “They were so kind and sweet to my daddy and reassuring to our entire family and have made a permanent impact on our life. Until you experience Hospice you don’t know what that really means.”

Many have asked, why a butterfly and why wings? A butterfly is the symbol for Hospice. The butterfly is an amazing creature that transforms from a caterpillar, to cocoon, before entering the world as a beautiful butterfly.

Both the Dave and Judy Eldredge poster contest and the Re/Max Butterfly Challenge have highlighted the meaning behind the butterfly and have been great for increasing awareness about the purpose behind the Murray Half Marathon and its goal in raising funds for Hospice. Having community support and involvement is an integral part of hosting an event such as this.

For additional information about these initiatives or to find out more about the Murray Half Marathon, visit To learn more about the Anna Mae Owen Hospice House or how to donate, contact Keith Travis, VP of Development at 270-762-1908.