It’s not likely that even the richest of the rich would dispute $10,000 is a lot of money. So to take into account that one simple “fun run” has raised that type of money for multiple years ... impressive.
This Saturday, March 9 Oakdale students, teachers, administrators and families will toe the line once again at the 10th Annual Support Oakdale Schools (SOS) Fun Run. The event will once again be hosted at Cloverland Elementary School on Johnson Avenue. The one mile race begins at 8:30 a.m. with the 5k shortly following at 9 a.m. Registration remains open by visiting the website at sosfunrun.com. Participants may also register during T-shirt and bib pick up at the school on Friday, March 8 between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. or the morning of the event.
The brainchild of a group of friends over 10 years ago with two simple goals in mind, a healthy activity for students which just might raise a little money for Oakdale schools. What once seemed a fun idea, has now been a major annual contributor to the 501c3 non-profit, the Oakdale Educational Foundation.
“In the last five years the event has consistently raised in excess of $10,000 annually, which is given to OEF and then awarded as grants to teachers and administrators in OJUSD,” SOS Sponsorship Chair and OEF Board member Ted Thome said. “The year 2018 was our most successful event. We raised in excess of $13,000 and had over 350 runners participate.”
Thome as well as a group of others, stepped up to continue the volunteer efforts of the event in 2015 when the founding crew decided it was time to pass the torch.
“It’s hard to believe 10 years has already passed since that first 3 a.m. race day set up,” founding board member Judy Alvey shared, noting the event began as a simple idea among friends to encourage students to be active and raise a little money for OEF.
“From the beginning, the SOS Run has been embraced by the community, as well as by the many volunteers it takes to make it successful,” Alvey continued.
“I think it goes without saying that every new event carries with it some initial concerns for its success,” stated a district administrator who was part of the initial board. “However these concerns quickly vanished as dozens of volunteers signed up to help and hundreds of race registrations poured in.”
According to the founder desiring anonymity, the initial goal was to have 100 participants on race day. A number which was well exceeded as a total of 370 registered, the youngest being three years old.
“The Oakdale community embraced this event from the very start,” the founder continued, “and that’s what made it such a success.”
Alvey echoed the sentiments of her counterpart noting the financial support early on as a far cry from coming up short.
“I am probably most proud of the community of financial donors/sponsors who make it possible for kids to participate, who would not have been able to otherwise,” she said. “Their generosity has been very much appreciated by the many families they have touched.”
Current board member Thome agreed with the thoughts of the founders stating, “Oakdale is a very generous community. Bringing together that community support, with the efforts of the dedicated team working in the Oakdale school district is rewarding.
“I thoroughly enjoy watching families run together,” he continued. “It touches my heart when a mom or a dad who obviously take running seriously, slow their pace just enough to allow their five- and six-year-old child race alongside them. I look forward to a successful event this weekend.”