XENIA — Teachers, administrators and students are joining forces to help fund teacher classroom grants.
More than 400, including 111 students, have signed up to participate in Saturday’s Healthy Halloween Hustle 5K Fun Run at Shawnee Park, which will benefit the Xenia Community Schools Foundation Grants Program. The program helps pay for classroom materials and projects that teachers would otherwise be unable to afford.
It gives approximately $20,000 annually to teachers, raised mostly through smaller fund-raisers throughout the year. But foundation board members, Superintendent Denny Morrison and parent liaison Stephanie Johnston had bigger ideas for a major event.
“We wanted to do something that was going to stress health,” Morrison said. “People have just jumped on the bandwagon and done a phenomenal job. Volunteers are coming out of the woodwork wanting to help.”
The race begins 9 a.m. near the pavilion at the park. It goes north on the bike path and then turns around near Kinsey Road. Along the path there will be music playing, including fight songs of The Ohio State University, the University of Notre Dame and that team up north.
The theme song from “Rocky” will be blasted as runners and walkers take off and The Xenia High School marching band drum line is also expected to make some noise.
“It’s a neat community event,” Morrison said.
It’s also created some friendly competition between schools, thanks to Johnston.
The middle school and high school are battling for the highest percentage of participation. The staff of the losing school has to make breakfast for the staff of the winning school.
Through registration and the 30-plus sponsors, the fun run/walk had already cleared more than $5,000 as of Wednesday morning.
“This is a real tribute to our staff,” Morrison said. “It’s all Xenia school employees pulling together. It’s going to benefit the kids. Just warms my heart.”
Morrison also praised the students, who agreed to get up early on a Saturday morning.
“I’m floored,” he said.
Registration is still open and is available 8 a.m. Saturday. The race begins 9 a.m. The fee is $15 for adults and $10 for kids. A free short fun walk/run around the park for kids under 5 years old begins 8:30 a.m.
“No matter what level of a runner or walker, you can participate in this,” Johnston said.
The Xenia Community Schools Foundation is an Ohio non-profit 501(C) (3) corporation. Gifts made to the XCSF qualify as tax deductible charitable contributions. For information about the XCSF, visit the website (xcsfoundation.com), or Facebook (Xenia Community Schools Foundation) or call the Xenia Chamber of Commerce at 937-372-3591.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.