Countless events have been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, not the least of which is one of St. Charles Parish’s great traditions, United Way of St. Charles’ Bridge Run across the iconic Hale Boggs Bridge.
The event was slated to take place April 4 and will not be rescheduled this year.
More than 800 people had registered thus far for the event. United Way St. Charles announced last week that it will be issuing refunds for those people, with those who signed up online to see a credit back to their original payment method in the next 5-10 business days. Individuals who registered via paper registration and paid via check will be mailed a refund check to the address provided on the registration form.
While those who register do so signing a waiver that registration money is not refunded were the event to be cancelled due to extreme circumstances (in most cases, an alternate route was utilized), United Way Executive Director John Dias said the decision was made to refund the money anyway because “it is the right thing to do.”
The event projected to yield approximately $30,000 for the non-profit, Dias said the more disappointing aspect was simply not being able to hold the popular community event at all.
“The primary reason we hold it is to host this healthy, community event that hopefully motivates people to walk, to run … even if we didn’t make money, it’s a reason in itself,” Dias said. “As far as the other aspect, it’s just money we unfortunately won’t bring in this year. It’s that simple. But the biggest loss is just that we don’t get to have the event.”
The event traditionally begins in the morning with the race itself before participants cross the finish line and convene at the West Bank Bridge Park in Luling for a post-race celebration with music, food and drinks.
Rescheduling the race isn’t feasible, Dias said, as logistics would prevent it.
“The problem with postponing it is we have to book both bridge parks and they’re so busy with other events … when we’ve gone through this before, by the time we’re able to get both parks and access to the streets, all of it together, then it’s time for the next one anyway. We wish we could, but it’s sadly not practical,” Dias said.