Forest Park Forever’s 4th Annual I Love Forest Park 5K Raises $12,000 for Essential Park Operations and Maintenance

Thirty percent increase in runners breaks event attendance and fundraising records


Jasmine Evans: (314) 853-9957;

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ST. LOUIS, September 12, 2014 – On Saturday, September 6, Forest Park Forever welcomed more than 400 runners and walkers to the organization’s 4th Annual I Love Forest Park 5K and Youth Fun Run, held at the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center in Forest Park. The annual event raised $12,000 for St. Louis’ beloved Forest Park.

The event’s "Sprinter" sponsors, A. Waldbart & Sons Nursery and Caravus, were joined in support of the event by "Jogger" sponsors AAA Missouri, ANOVA, Big River Race Management, Drury Hotels and True Runner. Additional sponsors also provided generous funds. A complete list of sponsors can be found at

The I Love Forest Park 5K was created to achieve three main objectives: to celebrate Forest Park, a jewel of our community and one of the great urban parks in America; to raise funds for the maintenance of Forest Park and its paths and trails; and to encourage financial support of the Park through membership in Forest Park Forever.

While there are countless organized runs and walks in Forest Park throughout the year, this is the only run that directly benefits the Park. All funds raised by the I Love Forest Park 5K Run will be used for Park maintenance for the enjoyment of runners, walkers and millions of Park users each year.

This year’s run was hosted by KMOV news anchor Jasmine Huda and proved to be a great success, surpassing goals in both fundraising and participants. More than 400 runners ran the race, raising an event record of $12,000.

President and Executive Director of Forest Park Forever Lesley Hoffarth was thrilled with the outcome of this year’s event.

“The 2014 I Love Forest Park 5K was a fantastic success,” said Hoffarth. “This event reminds us that Forest Park is an urban oasis enjoyed by so many healthy and active St. Louisans. Thanks to our donors, sponsors, runners and walkers for actively celebrating one of the community’s great public recreational destinations.”

This year’s run route began near the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center and moved south and east, passing the Planetarium and the iconic Jewel Box.

All members of the family turned out for the event, young children — the smallest kids were pushed in strollers, while a few older kids ran alongside their parents. Family dogs also made a showing, crossing the finish line proudly with their owners.

Children who didn’t run in the 5K took part of the Youth Fun Run. This shortened route took children around the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center and the Variety Wonderland Playground, exciting the next generation about healthy active living in Forest Park.

At a ceremony following the race, Forest Park Forever President Lesley Hoffarth, Board member Paul Higgins and emcee Jasmine Huda awarded medals for the top three finishers in several age groups. Trent Evans and Michelle Lapin, the top overall male and female winners of the race, each received a year-long membership to Forest Park Forever, a year-long locker membership at the Dennis & Judith Jones Visitor and Education Center and a tree dedicated in their honor.

To view a complete list of times for this year’s participants, click here.

About Forest Park Forever

In 1986, Forest Park Forever, a private, not-for-profit organization, was founded to work in partnership with the City of St. Louis and the department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry to restore, maintain and sustain Forest Park as one of America’s great urban public parks for the enjoyment of all – now and forever.


Events, FundraisingJasmine Evans