EDWARDSVILLE − Trinity Lutheran Ministries in Edwardsville hosts an annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K for charity and other holiday fundraising events, and this year's effort collected more than $8,000 for area charities and 2,500 items were donated to the Glen-Ed Food Bank.

This year's seventh annual Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K was held on December 9, 2023, with more than 240 participants. The sweaters and competitors came in all ages and sweater styles.

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Trinity's school held its annual Holiday Shop earlier this month, where students were allowed to purchase presents for friends and family members at school, with all of the proceeds going to the Ed-Glen Food Pantry. This year's Holiday Shop raised more than $3,000 for the food pantry.

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The school also held a canned food drive for the Glen-Ed Food Pantry, and 2,549 items were collected and donated to the organization. This was an increase from the 1,800 items donated in 2022 and equaled more than 2,200 pounds of food.

Prizes were awarded to the individual and group with the most spirited Christmas attire. Medals were given to the top male and female finishers and medals to the top three finishers in each of the following age categories: 9 and under, 10-14, 15-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-50, and 60 and older. More than 60 participants received awards from the race.

Gavin Rodgers of Edwardsville claimed first overall, with a time of 16:39. Evan McCluskey of St. Louis finished in second place with a finishing time of 18:06, and the third overall finisher was Max Weber of Edwardsville, who finished in 18:33.

Proceeds from this year's race were given to the Ed-Glen Food Pantry and Edwardsville Neighbors In Need.

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