MEMPHIS, Tenn. (May 8, 2024) – The 2024 Orion 5K rocks the Edge District this Saturday, May 11, with the Shell on Wheels rolling into place in the Edge District and the Bluff City Backsliders getting everyone in a mood to move!

Orion Federal Credit Union, Title Sponsor of the Orion 5K since 2018, also sponsors the Orion Free Concert Series that starts later this month at the historic Overton Park Shell. Now Shell on Wheels is coming to Orion Headquarters at 400 Monroe Avenue to provide a launching pad for a lot of fun!

The Orion 5K will feature an attractive 2024 commemorative t-shirt for each registrant, refreshments, a professionally administered 5K race with results instantly available as participants finish, entertainment by the talented Bluff City Backsliders, and some of the coolest awards in Mid-South running, including the 2024 Orion 5K Overall Championship Belt, a trophy even Memphis Wrestling Legend Jerry “The King” Lawler has tried on for size.

Regardless of how fast participants cover 3.1 miles through historic Beale Street and Downtown, they’ll each receive a keepsake Orion 5K Finisher’s Medal for their efforts. After the 5K, participants will enjoy refreshments and a chance to test their skills on a new addition to the 2024 Orion 5K: Pickleball Courts to be set up in the Edge District. A Family Fun Run rolls down Monroe Ave. after the Orion 5K.

You can register at RUNORION5K.COM and know your registration fee will make a difference in the lives of homebound Memphis and Shelby County seniors.

“Hosting this race and inviting our community to join with us is important to all of us at Orion,” said Orion CEO Daniel Weickenand. “The consistent rise in senior food insecurity in Memphis is reason for us all to come together to support and create awareness for the cause; it’s an honor to support our neighbors.”

The sole beneficiary of the Orion 5K is MIFA Meals on Wheels, which provided an astounding 737,866 home delivered and congregate meals to seniors in Memphis and Shelby County in 2023.

“This is our third year as Orion’s philanthropic partner for this race, and we’re so grateful for both their financial support and for raising the community’s awareness of MIFA Meals on Wheels,” said Ellen Whitten, MIFA’s Director of Impact and Communications. “It only costs about $2,500 to provide meals for one senior for a whole year, so a little support goes a long way. Each $35 race registration fee is enough to cover three meals, from preparation to delivery.”

MIFA says Memphis has the highest food insecurity rate in the nation. An estimated 11% of Memphis seniors lack adequate nutrition, according to MIFA.It has been serving homebound seniors hot lunches since 1976. You can learn more about MIFA and its Meals on Wheels service that requires 100 volunteers a day at the MIFA booth on Orion 5K race day. Whitten says the Metropolitan Interfaith Association is currently exploring healthcare partnerships with providers like Regional One Health, United Healthcare and Christ Community Health to provide meals to more seniors in innovative ways.

“Meals on Wheels programs, including MIFA’s, have been proven to improve health outcomes for people in need of frequent or complex medical care, and these healthcare partnerships show a lot of promise for stabilizing people’s health through good, consistent nutrition,” Whitten said.

The weather is expected to be ideal for running on Saturday morning, May 11, so be sure you’re at the starting line by 8:30 a.m. and then stick around for the Orion 5K party, tap your toes to the Bluff City Backsliders and see if the pickleball craze is for you.