Azalea Festival Parade Mile partners with Team First Book

Azalea Festival Parade Mile partners with Team First Book

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - It's a battle to reach the top, and then turn around and do it again.

The third annual Azalea Festival Parade Mile will take place Saturday, April 8, beginning in front of City Hall.

The mile is a unique race. It's lined with spectators just before the parade begins. Competitors run to the top of the hill, a quarter mile, back down, and repeat it one more time.

The funding means a great deal to Team First Book, which aims to empower young children in the beginning stages of reading lengthier books.

"We work with Title One schools that are in neighborhoods that are struggling," says Carol Barre, with Team First Book of New Hanover County. "And we work with the Boys and Girls clubs and the (YMCAs) and make sure that they have access to order new books for their kids."

Race organizers hope to see more than 100 competitors for this year's event, including many dressed in seersucker suits and bright Azalea Festival themed clothing. In the meantime, the fundraising for the race has helped First Book get more books to more students.

"They're already looking at what they can do with the money to order books," said Walt Rapp, who has helped head the marketing campaign. "It's exciting for us to see that tangible result so quickly, and I think this year will be the first year we raise in excess of $10,000."

More information on the race can be found at 

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