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A Unity Run Thank You!

25th Annual Unity Run

1,116 runners crossed the finish line in Downtown Calhoun while another 72 children ages 3-11 completed the AGC Pediatrics 1-K Kid’s Run at Gordon Central High School on Tuesday, September 25th, making this the largest run in at least the last 15 years and maybe the largest ever. Over 1,600 runners registered for the 25th Annual Unity Run that supports United Way of Gordon County and the 18 partner agencies. In celebration of the 25th Anniversary, Tiger Flight Foundation provided the first ever flyover to start the run at Gordon Central High School. The flyover was coordinated with the Gordon Central Blue Wave Band at the completion of the National Anthem.

The community support for this event began 25 years ago when Executive Director, Rebecca Owen and the United Way of Gordon County Board of Directors, started the event as the kick off for the United Way of Gordon County’s fund-raising campaign. The community support and volunteers have continued throughout the 25 years. The dedication and talents of the volunteers make this happen. The City of Calhoun and Gordon County Government share their staffs to help. The 18 agencies supported by the funds raised from the community are always on the roadsides cheering the runners as they go. And, hundreds of others from the community especially Calhoun City Schools and Gordon County Schools share in making the run so special. Cheerleaders, bands, mascots, HOSA Club, and school buses are on hand to cheer and transport the runners. When runners come from outside Gordon County they are always amazed by the number of people volunteering to make the run such a success. More than once organizers have been told the Unity Run has the best finish of any race! All because of the community support!

This year the manufacturing and business communities came together in friendly competition to put the most runners in the 25th Unity Run. Mohawk Industries won the Most Overall Participation Award with 222 runners. Mohawk Industries is one of only two sponsors to be with the Unity Run all 25 years. Synovus, formerly Georgia Bank and Trust, is the other 25-year sponsor. Not included in the count to determine the participation award was another 200 Mohawk Industries’ family members.  Apache Mills won the award for Highest Percentage of Employees running with almost 25% of their 650+ employees! Two banks in Gordon County tied with 100% of their employees running the Unity Run, Century Bank and Greater Community Bank of Calhoun. The Small Business winner was once again Starr Mathews Agency. Shaw Industries, Field Turf, Engineered Floors, Mannington Commercial, Nance Industries, Owen Security Solutions, AGC Pediatrics, NorthSide Bank, First Bank of Calhoun, North Georgia National Bank and Synovus participated wearing their matching shirts and cheering for their team. The team building spirit has continued and several groups are busy with projects to help the United Way agencies this year. Thanks to the generous support from AGC Pediatrics all City and County middle and high schools’ cross country teams were able to participate. Their participation provides for an even more competitive run with Nahum Trenti age 15 winning the overall male race with a time of 18:10.7 and Riley Triplett age 15 winning the overall female with a time of 22:56.9.

New this year was the first ever wheelchair division for the Unity Run. EndeaVor Adaptive Sports, Inc. asked if they could participate in the Unity Run this year.  With the help of Pam Stephens, long time Unity Run volunteer, who was able to coordinate this addition with help from local cross-country runner who pushed the wheelchairs. Gabriel Elolam, age 8, won the wheelchair event with a time of 29:16.6, second was Ashley Penland, age 32, with a time of 29:17.9 and third Jakob Bohannon, age 16, with a time of 29:24. They were greeted by cheers from the crowd as they finished and when they received their medals.

The Board of Directors wishes to thank the record number of sponsors who supported the run. Without their support, the race could not happen. Listed below are the names of all who donated to make the run such a success. Hopefully, this event will keep the excitement going as we continue the fund-raising campaign that has a goal of $750,000.00 this year. Over the years, the Unity Run has been a predictor of the success of the campaign. A good Unity Run means a successful campaign. Please like our Facebook Page: United Way of Gordon County to enjoy all the photos of the runners and visit our webpage to learn more about what United Way of Gordon County does. Click on the Unity Run tab on the webpage and enjoy the drone video of the Unity Run XXV provide by Company Films a local cinematography company. For more information contact United Way of Gordon County at the Calhoun Depot 706-602-5548 or

Thanks to all who participated, volunteered and celebrated the 25th Unity Run celebration.

2018 Unity Run XXV Sponsors


  • Apache Mills
  • Eddie Turner Heating and Air
  • Engineered Floors LLC
  • Field Turf
  • Gordon Hospital
  • Mannington Commercial
  • Mohawk Industries
  • Nance Industries
  • Northwest Georgia Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Shaw Industries
  • 1-K Kid’s Run
  • AGC Pediatrics


  • AOSM
  • Atlanta Gas Light
  • Hamilton Medical Center
  • Owen Security Solutions
  • Synovus
  • Waffle House
  • Silver
  • BB&T
  • Belwood Nursery and Landscape
  • Bentley Dye Services
  • Chick-fil-A of Calhoun
  • First Bank of Calhoun
  • Fox Systems, Inc.
  • Momon Construction, Inc.
  • Gordon Historical Society
  • Greater Community Bank
  • Kellogg’s


  • Advanced Electrical Systems, Inc.
  • Advanced Rehabilitation
  • Alan McHan DMD
  • Calhoun Drug Co.
  • Calhoun Outlet Marketplace a Simon Center
  • Downtown Calhoun
  • Fitness First of Calhoun
  • Georgia Northwestern Technical College
  • Grandstanz
  • Hayes Plumbing and Electrical, Inc.
  • Homespun Hospice
  • Kroger
  • Mauldin Trash
  • NorthSide Bank
  • PT Solutions
  • Roland Hay Farm
  • Workout Anytime of Calhoun


  • Calhoun City Schools
  • Calhoun High School HOSA
  • Calhoun Times
  • Carpet Capital Running Club
  • Cherokee Capital Amateur Radio Society
  • City of Calhoun
  • DJ Nick Najera
  • Donny Holmes
  • Gordon County
  • Gordon County Schools
  • Gordon EMS
  • WEBS
  • WJTH