Faith-based non-profit runs with a mission in Nocatee


Faithful Servant Missions (FSM) held its third annual Run with a Mission event April 30 in Nocatee, where more than 400 registered runners showed support for the nonprofit with 10K, 5K and one-mile runs through the community’s paved Greenway Trails.

Dylan Nelson of Orange Park came in first in the 5K, besting 186 runners in just over 19 minutes, while Riley Searcey of Jacksonville Beach won the 10K in just over 48 minutes.

The race’s proceeds help provide for the needs of children and families in Costa Rica and Panama, where FSM has established missions that provide everything from clean water and eye care to social services.

“It’s important for people to show their support because it will help raise awareness for our cause,” said Andrea Toro, a former missionary for FSM’s Costa Rican location.

Music, dancing, face painting, grilled food and a bounce-house were among the pre- and post-race entertainment available to attendees. Participants were also treated to goodie bags, a post-race celebration and a silent auction. But the real draw, Toro said, was the show of support from one community to another.

“It’s good because it’s for kids, for families and for their educational and spiritual development,” Toro said. “This will go to helping them.”