Fifth annual Jingle Bell Run expected to raise $140,000 for Arthritis Foundation

This year's Jingle Bell Run, to be held on Sunday in Glendale, is expected to raise $140,000 for the Arthritis Foundation, up from $135,000 last year, according to event organizers.

Registration will start at 7 a.m., followed by opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. and the run at 8:30 a.m. in Glendale Central Park, 230 S. Brand Blvd.

The Downtown Glendale Assn., an organization that supports business improvement in the downtown area, is sponsoring the fifth annual holiday 5K charity run, which is the greater Los Angeles area's portion of the national Jingle Bell Run that raises money to help the one in five Americans affected by arthritis.

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In 2015, the foundation raised about $7.8 million nationwide through Jingle Bell Run events.

"We are in support of any event that brings anyone into the downtown Glendale community and, since we don't have any other 5K in downtown, sponsoring it makes perfect sense," said Helen McDonagh, treasurer of the Downtown Glendale Assn.'s board.

Participants are encouraged to dress up in holiday attire while running the route, which will have Christmas carolers, a spot for Santa Claus and various refreshments.

Arthritis is the country's No. 1 cause of disability and afflicts all age groups. Roughly 300,000 children have juvenile arthritis, and part of the foundation's mission is to send those children to special arthritis camps, where, in some cases, parents and siblings can tag along.

According to Carlie Wilhite, deputy director of the Arthritis Foundation, the group supports future research through a program that funds the work of those wanting to become a pediatric rheumatologist — a doctor who deals with various joint, muscle and bone disorders.

"We're honored to be a sponsor for the Jingle Bell Run that benefits such a great cause," McDonagh said in a statement. "It's really a sight to see in the downtown Glendale area as it brings in so much holiday cheer and sets the tone for the season."

To learn more about the Glendale Jingle Bell Run or to register for the event, visit JBR.org/LosAngeles.

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Jeff Landa, jeff.landa@latimes.com

Twitter: @JeffLanda

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