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Spa Running Festival

Sat November 16, 2024 Hot Springs, AR 71901 US

Benefactor Information

Who benefits from the Spa Running Festival?

The Spa Running Festival is run by volunteers from the community so 100% of the proceeds from the event are given to local non-profit organizations. Below are the 5 local, non-profit organizations that have been selected to received donations from the 2024 race proceeds.  

Friends of the Park – Friends of the Park is a non-profit organization dedicated to development and stewardship of Hot Springs area public parks. Individual and Corporate partnerships are available for projects identified in the Hot Springs Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan. The master plan is a comprehensive guide for future parks, recreation and open space development.

Spa Pacers Buzz Wilson Scholarship Program - Proceeds from the Festival also fund numerous Buzz Wilson scholarships awarded to local high school seniors involved in the sport of running and/or fitness and who exemplify the principles identified in the Spa Pacer's mission statement.
Ouachita Children, Youth & Family Services., Project Food Bank, Path Project/Ouachita Behavioral Health & Wellness.

Ouachita Children, Youth & Family Services - Ouachita Children, Youth, and Family Services (OCYFS) is a nonprofit advocacy organization that provides emergency shelter for those in our community who are in crisis. We also offer quality services for youth and their families in Arkansas’s Garland and Clark counties. The short-term emergency shelter is located in Hot Springs and the Clark County Outreach Office is in Arkadelphia. Case management, therapeutic care, and educational classes are all available.

Project Food Bank - Project HOPE Food Bank’s mission is to provide healthy affordable food to food pantries and feeding programs that serve those at-risk of hunger. Project HOPE is in Hot Springs, Arkansas and serves west central Arkansas. They do not discriminate based on race, creed, nationality, gender or age. Project HOPE has four components: Food Subsidy, Emergency Food Box, Senior Emergency Food Box and School Backpack programs.

Path Project/Ouachita Behavioral Health & Wellness - A program to support individuals with serious mental illnesses as well as individuals with co-occurring substance use disorders, who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The program provides: Community Outreach, Diagnostic Screening and Therapeutic Treatment, Case management services and Referrals for substance abuse, primary healthcare, job training, educational opportunities, and housing.

Below is the press release detailing the donations made to the benefactors from the 2023 Race Proceeds:

Spa Running Festival Gives Back to the Community! 

The Spa Running Festival, presented by Window Mart, is excited to announce the awarding of $39,000 from the 2023 race proceeds! 

The Spa Running Festival celebrated another successful race on November 11, 2023 with a sold-out race!  According to Race Director, Cindy Baswell, “The race sold-out two months before the race and keeps selling out earlier each year, so we are thrilled to know that runners want to come to our race and enjoy their time in Hot Springs.”  The Spa Running Festival welcomed more than 1900 runners coming from all over Arkansas and 35 different states across all of the running events, which included the 13.1 mile Summit2Summit Half Marathon, the Spa 10k, 5k and Squirt race (ages 2-10 years). 

A reception was held May 6th at the Fredrick Dierks Nursing Building at NPC where checks were presented to representatives of the local, non-profit organizations and high school scholarship recipients. 

Four local, non-profit organizations benefitted from the 2023 race proceeds donation program totaling $39,000, included the following:

♦ $8,000 awarded to Hot Springs of Friends of the Parks. Friends formed in 1994 is made up of volunteers from the community working to increase or preserve our parks, greenways, trails, bicycle routes, wetlands, and recreational activities in both the city of Hot Springs and Garland County.   
♦ $5,500 awarded to Christian Cooperative Ministries and Clinic – Their mission is to improve life for those who are under-served and under-resourced in our community by focusing on medical, pharmacy, dental and vision care and providing poverty disruption programs. 
♦ $5,500 awarded to Samaritan Ministries – A drug and alcohol-free ministry providing short term/emergency and long-term residents to homeless men. Supplying their basic needs allows them to have the time to make necessary life changes for better life choices and success.
♦ $5,500 was awarded to The Warming Shelter - A group of volunteers that help the homeless community by providing shelter and helping with medical/medication needs, counseling services and living accommodations. 

♦ Also, $11,500 was presented to the Arkansas Spa Pacers Buzz Wilson Scholarship Program. This program awards scholarships to high school seniors involved in the sport of running and/or fitness and who exemplify the principles identified in the Spa Pacer's mission statement. Each student submits a formal application, along with a letter of recommendation that is then reviewed by the scholarship committee, consisting of Lorri Saracini, Chairperson, Becka Gartner, Amy Johnson, Jason Armitage, Jerry White Dave Hochstedler and Jana Catlett. The students receiving the scholarships are:

*Brian Joseph Bariola II  
*Chase Dew
*Ta'lib Ellis
*Kaleb Eskew
*Ivey James 
*Westley Kleinman 
*Zane McCain 
*Daniel Montgomery 
*Hunter Pye 
*Taylor Ragsdale 
*Laura Ramos

Also, the Spa Running Festival awarded the top 3 running teams with the most members prize money to donate to their favorite local non-profit organization in their name. At the race, there were 34 teams totaling 507 registrations and below are the top 3 teams and the non-profit organization selected to receive the donation: 

1st Place Team $750 - Spa Pacers (91 team members); the non-profit organization selected was Anchored on the Range.
2nd Place Team $500 - Run for God (78 team members); the non-profit organization selected was Christian Ministries Memorial Playground Fund - CMA PTO. 
3rd Place Team $250 - 501 Fitness (59 team members); the non-profit organization selected was Anchored 619 in Allegiance organization. 

Lastly, $1250 was given to the Hot Springs Police Department to show our appreciation for their support and partnership they provide the day of the race to ensure we have safe and successful race and $250 to the Road Runners Club of America. 

Baswell has been involved with the race since 2009 and Race Director for the past 10 years. Since that time, she said, “We have awarded $394,000 to local, non-profit organizations and the scholarship program.  We are so proud that we can give back to the community and allow these amazing organizations to continue their work in helping others in the many different needs and capacities they serve.  They are a true blessing to our community!” 

This year’s Spa Running Festival is scheduled for Saturday, November 16th, 2024.  Online registration opened April 1st and according to Baswell, “registrations are up 98% compared to this time last year, so she predicts the race will be sold out by early September and is encouraging everyone that’s going to run in the race to register early at

For more information, contact Cindy Baswell, Race Director at (501) 276-8870 or via email

Presenting Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor
Health Initiative Sponsor
Finisher Medal Lanyard Sponsor
Expo Sponsor
Finish Line Sponsor
Volunteer Sponsor
Platinum Sponsor
Grill Tent Sponsor
Gold Sponsor
Silver Sponsor
Spa Squirt Sponsor
Race Shirt Sponsor
In-kind (Food, Water, Race Related Items)

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