Cutline: Runners race across the brifge - some for competition, but all for fun. The Lake Houston Family YMCA recently announced they are pleased to once again have Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital as the presenting sponsor for the 22nd Annual YMCA Bridge Fest 5K Fun Run and Walk. The event will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, at the Lake Houston Family YMCA, 2420 West Lake Houston Parkway. Additional sponsors include Tejas Toyota Scion, Texas Emergency Care Centers, Planet Ford, Edward Jones, ICON Hospital, HealthSouth, Memorial Hermann Health Insurance Company, The Observer Newspapers, Chick-Fil-A (Kingwood), and The Tribune. New this year is the addition of a $500 sponsorship for non-medical related businesses to have their name/logo on the inflatable starting line that is used on Bridge Fest morning. The sponsor will also have a table on Bridge Fest morning to distribute promotional material to the 2,500-plus participants/spectators attending. Those interested should contact Carol Sutton at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Registration has opened and is available at the Lake Houston Family YMCA or online at www.thedriven.net/ymca-bridge-fest. Participants who register prior to Jan. 27 are guaranteed a T-shirt; after that T-shirts could be limited or not available. The event will once again include the Elementary School Challenge and the school with the most participants (students, parents, staff) will receive the traveling trophy to display at the school for the year and have their group photo used in the following years brochure. Bridge Fest is a great way to promote physical fitness to students as well as teaching the importance of helping others in the community. Thousands of runners, joggers, walkers and supporters attend Bridge Fest, which began more than 20 years ago as a celebration of the opening of the Lake Houston Parkway Bridge connecting the communities of Humble, Atascocita and Kingwood. The course is a fast, accurately measured USTA certified 5K, which begins at the YMCA, travels across the Lake Houston Parkway Bridge, makes one turn, and returns back to the YMCA. The first race will begin at 8 a.m. and is a half-mile event open to ages 6 and under. Following the half-mile race will be a one-mile race for ages 7 12. This will allow for the younger runners to race against their own age groups and compete for an award in those age categories. Following the Kids Races, the 5K Family Run and Walk will begin at 9 a.m. and is open to all ages and abilities. Concluding the morning will be the awards ceremony in the YMCA gymnasium. All races will use the chip timing system for accurate race results and cost of each race varies by category. Proceeds from Bridge Fest support the annual scholarship campaign at the Lake Houston Family YMCA and East Montgomery County YMCA. Many families in the Lake Houston and EMC communities have little or no ability to pay for the programs and services offered at the YMCA. This years Bridge Fest goal is to raise more than $50,000 for the scholarship fund to ensure that children and families are not denied access to programs or vital services such as YMCA after-school child care, swim lessons, day camp, youth sports, teen leadership camp and many more because of financial limitations. Families and individuals can apply for financial assistance by completing an Open Door application at the YMCA. For cost and additional information on Bridge Fest, call the Lake Houston Family YMCA at 281-360-2500 or visit ymcahouston.org/lake-houston.

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