When I first came to work for the KWA, one of the issues I was asked to address was the number of charity runs held in our neighborhood. “How many could there be?” I asked myself. So we started keeping a calendar of events. From May 2012 to December 2012 there were 21 charity runs in the neighborhood. After reviewing this information with the board and noting that KWA wanted to support our business partners such as HEB and City-sponsored runs such as the Rock-n-Roll Marathon, it was agreed to ask for a maximum of five charity runs and to encourage different routes so the same streets would not be impacted every time.

With this quantitative, factual data I requested a meeting with Councilman Bernal and city officials from departments including the police, parks and downtown operations. Purposes, logistics and locations of charity runs and their impact to the neighborhood and environment were discussed. It was agreed that 21 charity runs in seven months was excessive, and Councilman Bernal agreed to the requested five charity runs per year.

Due to advance scheduling, in 2013 there were eight events, three of which were “fun runs” of only 100 people and did not involve music or street closures.

For 2014, there are five scheduled events: the Cocoa Run (held in January and staged at La Villita instead of King William Park to help reduce noise and impact upon neighbors); Síclovía, which the board approved as it is a family event where neighbors can participate; the Great Turkey Challenge on Thanksgiving Day; the Rock-n-Roll marathon; and the AIDS Walk/Run at Blue Star. Other request for small events will be reviewed by staff and may be approved if they are determined to have no detrimental impact to residents. This allows KWA to show goodwill, support community efforts that support KWA Charter #6 (“to have special events design to attract people to the King William Area”), and continue to have factual data for future meetings and requests.

- Cherise Bell