Deck the Hall 5K Attracts Record Turnout, Raises $4,000

Monday, December 7, 2015

On a day when there were five holiday-themed races for Midlands residents to choose from, Heathwood Hall’s Deck the Hall race and reindeer games attracted a record crowd of 300 runners and raised $4,000 in support of Winston’s Wish and Salvation Army flood relief efforts.

Featuring 5K and 2K trail races, and a 400 meter race and reindeer games for the youngest runners, Deck the Hall offers participants of all ages a chance to get a great workout on Heathwood’s beautiful cross country course, get into the holiday spirit by wearing costumes and playing holiday games, and support two great causes.

This year’s race drew 150 Heathwood families and 150 participants from the greater Columbia community, including a large group from a running club at Brockman Elementary School.

Heathwood Head of School Chris Hinchey was delighted by the turnout. “The 2015 Deck the Hall 5K, 2K, and Reindeer Run was  an amazing success this year,” Hinchey said. “With over 300 participants, the Heathwood Hall and Columbia community raised $2,000 for Salvation Army Flood Relief and $2,000 for the Winston’s Wish Fund.  Cindy Scannella (Boys Cross Country Coach and Upper School Administrative Assistant) and Willis Ware (Girls Cross Country Coach and Director of Community Relations) played an enormous role in the success of this event and I am so very proud of both them and the efforts of their race committee – #SC Strong!”

Winners of this year’s 5K race included father and daughter John and Ansley Charlton, who had the fastest overall male and female times respectively. Twelve-year-old Zach Fisher was the overall male winner of the 2K race, while Heathwood 4th grader Anna Cooper posted the fastest time among female 2K runners. Team Vroon (Howie, Howard, and Jennifer Vroon) had the best team time in the 2K, and the Brockman team of Zachary Verzyl, Evan Smith, and Jack Morris posted a very impressive 1:14:47 team score in the 5K.

The Salvation Army has been instrumental in flood relief efforts in the Columbia community, providing meals as well as spritiual and emotional comfort to disaster survivors and first responders. Information about how to donate to Salvation Army disaster relief efforts is available at

The Winston’s Wish Foundation’s mission is to enable South Carolina children with autism and their families to thrive. To learn more or to donate, visit