Join community in Rock the Block fundraiser

Daily Journal staff reports

Center Grove area residents looking for a sense of community and a way to help nonprofits should lace up their running shoes.

Next month, Pay it Forward Johnson County is hosting a 5K and 10K run called Rock the Block, meant to raise money and help build a community feeling. Organizer Erin Smith envisioned an event that would bring the Center Grove area together and help instill a sense of community that was separate from the school.

Money raised from the run will go to help Center Grove nonprofits, ranging from sports, band and choir booster groups at Center Grove High School to churches and food pantries that help serve Center Grove area residents.

Pay it Forward Johnson County has an annual golf tournament in Franklin that helps raise money for charities across the county, but there were no events that helped Center Grove area charities specifically. And some of the charities were too small and wouldn’t be helped by Pay it Forward’s golf tournament, Smith said.

“Most of these charities wouldn’t be helped by the Pay it Forward event,” she said.

“Many folks who go to or attend (Center Grove) schools are well off families, but, many of them are not.”

So, Smith decided to organize a run that will raise money for organizations, such as the Center Grove Choir Parent Organization and SS. Francis & Clare Church.

Some of the groups need the money to help students attending Center Grove High School, and others serve families that may not have a connection to the school.

The Center Grove Robotics Club at the high school, for example, will use the money they get to buy parts for their robot, machines to help build them or to have competition entrance fee money for students, said Lisa Thielmeyer, president of the parent’s group of the robotics club.

“It is very expensive to build a robot and compete,” she said.

Thielmeyer, who lives in the Center Grove area, also sees how the event could help bring together the community. Center Grove area residents don’t have a town they live in. They have addresses from two separate cities in Johnson County.

And some may not have children in school and may feel isolated from their community, she said.

“It’s nice to have a community event that is broader,” she said. “This is Center Grove coming together as a community.”

If you go

What: Rock the Block 5K or 10K run

When: 8:30 a.m. April 23

Where: Center Grove High School, 2717 S. Morgantown Road, Greenwood

Cost: Early bird registration is $25 through March 31.

How to register: Go to