Two seniors at Archbishop O’Hara Catholic School are trying to “end the drought” by organizing a 5K fitness run.

Corbett McKinney, Independence, and J.D. Meyers, Kansas City, have been working since March on The Flood 5K. The event begins at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 22 with registration at Waterfall Park, 18001 Bass Pro Drive in Independence. The race begins at 8 a.m.

The registration fee is $25 through Sept. 9. From Sept. 10 to 19, the fee is $30. There is also a small handling fee that will be added onto registration. Children 10 and under will receive a $10 discount. Those who register by Sept. 10 will receive a free men’s or women’s T-shirt. Children 10 and under will receive a discounted price on a T-shirt. There will also be water activities before, during and after the race as well as music and complimentary food and drinks.

“I have been running since I have been in elementary school, so this seemed like a natural fit,” Meyers said of organizing the 5K run. We did some brainstorming and came up with the idea for a 5K run.”

The event is considered part of Archbishop O’Hara’s Senior Project Program. High school seniors have the option to complete a senior project in lieu of taking final exams their last semester. After approval from school administration, the only requirement is that the project is completed prior to graduation. It can be anything that interests the students. Because McKinney and Meyers paired up for the 5K run, they had to create a distinct division of responsibilities. Meyers is taking care of everything behind the scenes, while McKinney is taking care of the things that can be seen such as advertising, food and entertainment.

“This is not only an opportunity for learning, but we also wanted to do a senior project that gave something back to the community,” McKinney said. “We’ve gotten a lot of help from the O’Hara and diocese community, setting us up for success.”

The 5K run is a fundraiser for, a non-profit organization created from the merger of H20 Africa and WaterPartners. Gary White, one of the organization’s co-founders, is an O’Hara alumnus. works to provide help and resources to developing countries that do not have access to safe drinking water or sanitation. They work with countries to form local partnerships, involve the community in the planning process and select technology that will best help a region and situation.

While McKinney and Meyers have not set a firm goal of how much they would like to raise, they said they are hoping to raise $3,000 to donate to the cause. That means there needs to be about 200 registered participants.

“I think what has surprised me most during the planning process is how many people are unaware of the situation in other countries (when it comes to clean drinking water),” Meyers said. “This organization (, teaches locals how to build a water system and how to use them. They are wonderful programs. I think a lot of times, people here tend to take water for granted.”

McKinney said he has been surprised at the amount of work involved in planning an event such as a 5K run. He said the goal now is to get the word out and encourage people to register.

“We are going out and speaking to other parishes around the diocese about how they can help,” he said. “It is amazing how much work goes into something like this. I don’t know how non-profits or charities do it.”

For more information on The Flood 5K or to register, visit Information is also available on the event’s Facebook page, Additional sponsorships and volunteers are also needed for the event. For information on how to get involved, email Corbett McKinney at