Saturday’s Running for a Reason 5K raising money for Charlie Woods

Published 12:17 am Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The group of Pleasant Home area moms which organizes Running for a Reason 5Ks and walks have chosen a very good reason to have a 5K during Andalusia’s May 3rd Three Notch Festival.


“The family chosen is one that we all at Pleasant Home have a connection to,” said the moms, who prefer to take no credit for their work. “Charlie Woods, Jr., 55, is a 1979 graduate of Pleasant Home. He served as a custodian at PHS for seven years prior to his accident. Charlie was severely injured in a car accident on Oct. 21, 1987, in which he lost his left leg. He spent more than five months in West Florida Hospital and then transferred to rehab. As a result of the accident, he not only lost a leg, but he had a stroke that affected his left side, necessitating brain surgery, and developed many other health issues.”

Ten years after Woods’ accident, he had his first heart attack, followed by a second one in 2003. In 2003, it was determined he only had 9 to 11 percent heart function. He underwent open heart surgery and had three bypasses that increased his heart’s capacity to 17 percent. He is a diabetic and also has been diagnosed with COPD, arthritis, and congestive heart failure. “

Earlier this year, Woods had bypass/graft surgery to try and save his right leg. He uses a wheelchair to get around and has been approved for an electric chair; however, it will cost $2,500 out of pocket.

Charlie’s wife, Rose Lewis Woods, is a current PHS lunchroom worker. They have three children – Brandon, Candice, and Andy – all of whom are Pleasant Home graduates. They are the proud grandparents of six.

And Running for a Reason hopes its fourth running event will raise the funds needed for that chair.

The race will begin at Robinson Park at 8 a.m. on May 3, with a one-hour time limit for runners and walkers. Entry is $20 for adults and $15 for students in K-12.

A fun run will follow at 9 a.m. for elementary age children and younger. Entry is $15 for those who want a T-shirt, and $5 otherwise.

Race day registration will begin Saturday morning at 7 am and will continue until race time. Registration forms will be available at the event or participants can visit the group’s new website to get more information and print a registration form at

The group is offering a $100 prize to the fastest female and to the fastest male. In addition to the monetary prizes, there will be medals awarded to the three fastest finishers in each age division, including the fun run.

In addition, a silent auction will include items donated by businesses in Andalusia and surrounding areas. The silent auction will open at 8 a.m. and the winners will be announced with the race winners at the conclusion of the fun run.

About Running for a Reason

Running for a Reason was organized in April 2011, one month after the birth of a little baby with numerous birth defects. The founding mothers, a group of six friends from the Pleasant Home area, had tried for a month to devise a plan to help this family with the medical bills they were incurring with long hospital stays and the many surgeries required.

The group was organized sitting on the curb after a race in which some of the organizers had participated. The first race was planned, organized, and run within a month of the group’s first meeting. Any one of the original six – who prefer to remain anonymous – will tell you there was more to that race than tjeu thought we could get done. But the event was bigger than what they planned, and the support of the community was more than they dreamed possible.

“It seems there were a lot of people who felt just like we did: we could not do it alone, but together we could make a difference, a huge difference,” they said. “ After the race, when we had time to sit down and talk, we made some adjustments that we hoped would make the next race better and more stress-free. We added more volunteers to divide the work load, we started giving ample planning time, and we added a silent auction using the donations of local businesses.

To date, Running for a Reason has hosted three 5Ks and one Fall Fun Day and collected almost $25,000, of which 100 percent has been given to the families for which the events were planned.