At a risk of losing hundreds of thousands of dollars, the Park City Education Foundation has canceled its annual fundraiser – Running with Ed, citing the importance of well-being and safety.
The 11th annual relay running event raises about $280,000 a year for Park City schools so the decision to cancel wasn’t an easy one says Jen Billow, The Foundation’s Associate Director of Marketing and Communication.
Billow says, it just made sense this year to cancel, rather than postpone…
“There's a lot of moving parts with Running with Ed, as you can imagine,” she said. “The permits alone I think there's you know 40 permits we have to pull. So it would have to be moved to the summer and that’s traditionally is a time when our audience you know parents, students are really --just wanting to kind of take a break from school and everything, people ...and who knows what the situation is like going to be like this summer.”
They thought that perhaps they could move it to early fall, after school starts, but she says that would push up against their second large fundraiser of the year – the Red Apple Gala. And several of the elementary schools do fun runs which she says they would have had to compete with.
She says it’s unlikely they will be able to make up the loss, but says they’re hoping that those who planned to participate, will direct their registration fees or donations toward the foundation’s Express Grant fund instead.
“What we're asking people to do-- if you were going to register for Running with Ed if you were going to donate, if you were going to fundraise, we are hoping th$90 or $100 to become a Running with Ed donor,” she said. “And what we've done is expand our Express Grant funds. We've always had an Express Grant fund for kind of last-minute teacher needs. It's been around a $10,000 fund. We’re immediately expanding that to $50,000 and we need to raise money for that.”
Going into the third week of home-schooling, she says teachers are figuring out new needs and the Express Grant funds can be used for that.
“Teachers are figuring out ‘how do I teach kids either online or via packet?’ and we have already seen asks come up,” she said. “One teacher at the high school her kids she is sending them books in their native language to study social studies. They didn't have those books and it's difficult to do this over online and so she asked us for a grant to cover the cost of that and we were really happy to step in and do that and that is just going to be the first of what we're hearing are many, many requests.”
Jen Billow. She says if they don’t raise the money, that funding for next year’s programs will need to be cut so they can pay for the needs they have right now.
It’s a simple and quick process to apply for the Express Grant. Go online to www.pcef4kids.org and hit the Apply tab. She says turn- around of funding is about 48 hours.