Lipman Farms Annual 5k backpack giveaway

Last Saturday, April 21, Lipman Family Farms held their annual 5k backpack walk/run. Participants who were not up to a 5k, walked/ran a mile. Each participant received a bright green shirt that was easy to be noticed by traffic. While the milers got to tour a short part of Immokalee, the people who raced the 5k ran through an immense part of Immokalee. 16 year old, Ellerman Mateo, last year’s overall winner, kept his title by finishing in an amazing 17:47.1. Even more amazing was that Mateo won by a fraction of a second, barely beating 14 year old, Christian Cruz who finished at 17:47.5. The race not only encouraged young runners, but runners of all ages as 61 year old Ricardo Martinez finished in 21:24.5 and 77 year old Maryann Wright finished in 38:28.8.

Also worth noting is 7 year old C. Bates who was the overall miler winner with a time of 12:17. After all of the participants from the 5k crossed the finish line, there was a half mile fun run for children ten and under. These children had endless endurance as the majority of them had just finished running the 5k and ran an extra two laps around the track.

However, to the community this event was more than an athletic competition. Each participant paid from $10 to $30 and all of the proceeds went to buy backpacks and school supplies that will be given away on August 4. Last year, Lipman farms donated over 1,500 backpacks filled with school supplies. Furthermore, the Backpack Giveaway will be an all-day event, filled with venders, free food, free haircuts, and in past years they had a bike giveaway. With over 350 participants, this is bound to be the most successful fundraiser.

Many thanks to Lipman Farms, America’s largest field tomato grower, who teamed up with several local businesses, to make each fundraiser more successful than the previous year.

Lewis Perkins is special to the Immokalee Bulletin and can be reached at

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