The annual Homecoming festivities will be starting a couple of hours earlier this year. At 8 a.m. Saturday, hours before the annual parade, there will be a parade of runners and walkers participating in a 5K race hosted in order to benefit the Shaler Area Education Foundation.
The Shaler Area Education Foundation is an organization dedicated to supporting the educational and curricular advancement of the students in the Shaler Area School District.
“Teachers and students can apply for grants through the foundation,” Superintendent Sean Aiken said. “If they are doing something unique, creative, innovative or they want to go on a trip or a competition, they can apply for a small grant of 100-200 dollars to support innovative practices so it’s completely driven to benefiting our students and our teachers. It’s all about supporting Shaler Area.”
The foundation seeks support financially from grants and donations in order to get the necessary resources needed to advance the school’s education programs and improve student opportunities at Shaler Area.
Not only is the purpose of the 5K to raise money for the foundation, but also to promote fitness and wellness among the community.
“This is to promote wellness within the community and also benefits our students and benefits our teachers. I encourage families to participate and feel that this will bring a better sense of togetherness in the community,” Aiken said.
The 5K will be funded completely by donations made by the community and staffed by volunteers. There will be drinks and snacks provided at Kiwanis Park before and after the race for the runners.
The participants will be meeting at Kiwanis Park prior to the race then will walk down to Little Pine Creek Road where the race will begin. They will only run on Little Pine Creek, running the first half towards Etna then turning around and running back to Kiwanis to finish.
“When I was at Quaker Valley as a principal, we started a 5K and it lasted seven years while I was there and it’s still going on. We partnered with the hospital and partnered with the YMCA there and so we were able to do it and sustain (it),” Aiken said.
As of now there are about 50 runners pre-registered, but there is expected to be around 75-100 total when the race begins.
“Hopefully this 5K will continue on. Maybe at some point we need to change it or do something different, but our hope is that it is a yearly event,” Aiken said.
Registration for the race can be done online at https://runsignup.com/Races or in person the morning of the race.