Georgia Runner Makes Large Donation To Pass Christian - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Georgia Runner Makes Large Donation To Pass Christian

As Jonathon Prince dashed toward Pass Christian, and the end of a very long trip, you could hear the pitter patter of his Nikes striking the Highway 90 shoulder.

"I'm excited," he said. "I got up super early. I started way before I was supposed to. And I'm already on the last leg so to speak. I'm on cloud nine."

In the distance, the thwack of a nail gun echoed across hurricane debris. The two contrasting sounds somehow made harmony because of a composition written and directed by Prince.

"I decided to organize Run for Relief because I wanted to do my part," the Atlanta man said.

Prince loves to run. And he's been doing all sorts of running since October 6, 2005. That's when he decided to hit the road, and raise money for Pass Christian hurricane victims.

"It's so lonely and humbling," the jogger admitted during one of his breaks along his route. "People passing by don't really know what I'm doing. If they see my jogger, they think I'm a homeless man. So from hindsight, I'm a lunatic."

Prince is anything but crazy. Sure he's run from Los Angeles to Atlanta. And from Atlanta to New York. But everywhere he's stopped, he's collected cash for Pass Christian's recovery.

"Why not?" he wondered. "Why not help the small town and show that everybody was affected, but at the same time, everybody still needs help."

A police escort picked up Prince for the final leg of his journey. After 5,500 miles on the run, his legs were heavy. Yet, he approached the finish line at War Memorial Park with a bounce to his step. Pass Christian residents cheered his arrival.

Once he stopped, he turned around and said, "This is the moment I've been waiting for for almost a year, to be able to help and donate the money I've raised through Run for Relief to the people that were affected in Pass Christian. I just want to say thank you to everybody coming out. I'm exhausted."

He wasn't too tired to present Pass Christian a $110,000 check. That's how much money he raised on his cross-country journey. 

"This is a small city. But we can't forget about the small people," he said.

The people of that small city gave Prince a proclamation, a key to the city, and heartfelt thanks. That was a lot more than he ever expected.

"I'm here in the area where people were affected," he said. "It's more intimate being able to see face-to-face the people I'm helping out."

The money Prince donated to Pass Christian will be put into a fund, so the city can offer grants to needy neighbors. Next week, Prince's primary sponsor will be in the the Pass to donate 100 water heaters to the mayor and the board of aldermen.

By Brad Kessie

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