The sun came out on Saturday to give South Stokes a perfect backdrop to their first annual 5-K Color Run. The benefit drew in 223 participants including children and adults and raised close to $3,000 to go towards needed supplies for each of South’s departments.
“We have had so many cuts to per pupil spending over the last four years that we’re basically running on fumes,” explained organizer and teacher Marsha Dunn. “Any amount of funds we can collect is a huge help because we have to give our students the best we can in spite of the cuts and war on public education.”
Saturday’s crowd ranged from children to senior citizens and walkers to running enthusiasts. Beginning at Southeastern Middle, the race moved along sidewalks through Walnut Cove, then cut into a quiet residential area and then back down to Southeastern. Sporting stark white t-shirts, participants were sprayed with color concoctions at three different stations before crossing the finish line and being doused with bright powder packets.
“I thought it went fantastically well. I decided to keep it really simple by only raising money through registrations,” Dunn said. “My son and I started at 7 a.m. setting out cones, signs, and the color spray stations. By 8:30, I had the South/West JROTC ready for traffic duty, my volunteers at the registration tables, and students manning stations.”
Based on Saturday’s success Dunn is already looking forward to next year and hopes to see even more community involvement which could include business sponsors and bands to extend the event a little longer.
As a teacher and passionate advocate for public education Dunn said funding for schools in N.C. is down to the bare necessities.
“North Carolina spends $27,000 a year to house a prisoner, but only $8,791 to educate a child. Events such as the Color Run brings in folks from Charlotte, Winston, Kernersville, as well as the local population. It’s a great feeling knowing that your event brought this dynamic together.”
Helping make the day possible was Southeastern’s principal Rhonda Jackson, Walnut Cove’s Sheriff’s Department, Walnut Cove mayor and town manager, and volunteers.
“South will be able to get new lab supplies, books for the media center, novels and nonfiction for English, and resources for math and history,” Dunn said.
She hopes the money trickles through each department helping compensate for what wasn’t allotted in the budget.
After Saturday’s benefit, a number of participants made their way to local restaurants.
“I know many visited Sam’s Pizza on Main Street after the race and that is exactly what I wanted to happen. Come to run, stay for lunch, and shop a little. I had so many tell me what a great time they had and that they look forward to the next one. That truly makes me feel proud to be a Saura.”
Amanda Dodson can be reached at 336-813-2426 or on Twitter at AmandaTDodson.