The Madison Scouts Drum & Bugle Corps’ health and wellness initiatives will be brought into public practice this summer during the organization’s MAD DASH for Music Education.

This 5K run/walk is set to take place in five different cities across the country on Sunday, July 10 at 8 a.m. local time, including Cincinnati, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Dallas and Madison.

Madison Scouts executive director Chris Komnick says the organization’s goals for hosting these events go beyond fundraising and the corps itself.

“Our objective is to increase visibility into the marching arts as a positive and healthy activity for today’s youth,” Komnick said. “By taking this initiative nationwide, we expect to raise broader awareness while helping fundraise for our health and wellness initiatives within the marching arts activity.”

Walk-up entries are welcome, however, those interested should register before June 26 to guarantee a race T-shirt and participation medal with their $25 donations. Proceeds will benefit music education initiatives of the Madison Scouts as well as partnered high school music programs in select cities.

Chuck Henson, event organizer, encourages people of all ages to sign up because the event is geared less toward running and more toward community effort.

“This is a no-judgement zone,” Henson said. “You can run, you can walk, you can do a combination of the two, all while supporting good organizations and also helping yourself.”

As a Madison Scouts alumnus and current board of directors member, Henson said one of the goals of this new event is to inspire high school students to use the standard of excellence presented by drum corps to develop their own band programs and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

“Here [at the Madison Scouts] we’re all about the athlete/musician ... every high school in the country wants to be that,” he said. “This is something that band directors can direct their students to and say, ‘Hey, if we want to be that, we have to get in shape.”

Komnick says the health and wellbeing of corps members is a top priority within the drum corps activity. In his organization, two athletic trainers are available on staff at all times, and strict, specialized nutrition and exercise routines stretch into the offseason.

The corps’ objective is to publicize their internal health and wellness initiatives through student involvement in the race in addition to other initiatives currently in development.

Henson is proud to see the corps expanding its reach with non-traditional fundraising ideas. “I believe that not just from a funding standpoint this is a great idea," he said. "This event has such cool, altruistic, positively charged energy about it."

Both Henson and Komnick foresee a bright future for the MAD DASH, with a goal that the corps members themselves will participate in the future along with numerous high school and college bands. They’d also like to see the number of host cities and supported organizations quadruple in the next few years.

MAD DASH for Music Education

Sunday, July 10

Time: 8 a.m. local time

Locations: Cincinnati, Atlanta, St. Petersburg, Dallas, Madison

Cost: $25 (T-shirt and participant medal guaranteed with registration before June 26)

Registration: Open online until July 3

This event is supported by the Marching Music Health and Wellness Project.