The Rev. Dr. Dennis Perry and the Rev. Jason Micheli
Photo by Travis Gianchetta
Spandex in the Narthex, a fundraising event held May 31, gave church and community members a way to show their support for Aldersgate Church's associate pastor Jason Micheli as he faces a rare blood cancer.
Micheli, an avid runner, often would stop in at the church wearing running attire — short shorts or spandex with a bandana or "do rag" on his head. Congregation members were encouraged to "dress as Jason would" for the Spandex in the Narthex Fun Run/Walk; the race course took runners and walkers from the church to the Micheli home in the Waynewood neighborhood, and back.
A sponsor donated red race do rags for all participants. Middle school student Jackson Culver, who was confirmed by Rev. Micheli last year, created the design on the do rags.
About 600 people participated in the Fun Run and even more attended worship. Micheli, who is on medical leave, came to worship services and addressed the crowd.
More than $30,000 was raised through entrance fees, sales of food and fun run bracelets, and sponsorships and individual donations. Contributions will continue to come in through June 15 at www.aldersgate.net/spandex. All funds will go to the Micheli family to assist them with expenses not covered by insurance.
The core coordinating team of Aldersgate volunteers who put together this event included Megan Gianchetta, Ashley Crute, Jen Price, and Sue McConville as well as the local band, Close2Home, and the Baxter and Henderson families who prepared the food.
Aldersgate United Methodist Church is located at 1301 Collingwood Road.