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Running with Ed nets $340K for Park City education

Running with Ed participants celebrate at the awards ceremony.
Sarah Ervin / KPCW
Running with Ed participants celebrate at the awards ceremony.

This year’s Running with Ed goes down as one of the best-ever for fundraising with more than two-thirds of the money going right back into local classrooms.

The Park City Education Foundation’s annual relay race raised $340,000, down about $10,000 from last year. The money is raised through registration fees, private donations and sponsors.

PCEF Vice President of Advancement Jen Billow says this year the weather was perfect – no snow, no rain and nearly a thousand runners participated.

“The race went smoothly, no accidents or emergencies that we knew of. So, we were really happy about that great finisher party put on by our sponsors at the end,” she said. “We broke our fundraising goal. So, our goal was $325,000. And we ended up raising $340,000. So huge, huge shout out to our community.”

One ambitious student won the prize for top fundraiser.

“Our top student fundraiser was a first grader who raised just under $2,000,” Billow said. “He did it by selling golf balls. He went up and he went and picked up old golf balls on the side of the sides of the fairways and greens and washed them and then sold them anyways. Just under $2,000, which was amazing.”

Foundation CEO Ingrid Whitley says once the costs of producing Running with Ed are pulled out, the net proceeds will be used to fund next year’s classroom grants. The committee that selected this year’s grants revealed recommendations at its meeting last month.

“This year’s fundraising goes to support next year’s classroom grant awards and our board just voted on the grant committee's recommendations at our May 23 meeting and approved over $265,000 and grant awards that goes directly into our schools to support 35 programs, which is really exciting,” Whitley said.

Some of the money will fund the Park City High School theater program, another portion will support a program called Book Break, which will be at all four elementary schools and Ecker Hill Middle School.

“Which is a new innovative program that offers monthly live or recorded author visits with students,” she said.

Other programs awarded funds include the orchestra program, and the RC (remote control) Club.

The foundation also supports the Bright Futures program which provides one-on-one help for first-generation college students. The program taps kids in their sophomore years and assists them through college graduation. The second cohort since the program was started eight years ago, had seven college graduates this year.