Record crowd at annual 5K event benefits Catholic Schools
November 02, 2015 | posted by Stephen Chavez
The 9th Annual Run with a Mission 5K was held in late October at Mission County Park #1, despite the heavy rain just days prior. While safety due to the inclement weather was a concern, race officials monitored weather information and coordinated with Bexar County Park staff to ensure the area was open and safe for participants.
“It was awesome,” said William Daily, Principal at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic School. “So happy it wasn’t cancelled.”
The event was not without wind and a little rain, but by mid-morning the rain had stopped. The crowd was enjoying gathering with friends and classmates in celebration of Catholic school education.
Funds raised from the event benefit area Catholic schools and Hope for the Future, which provides tuition assistance to less fortunate families so they too can attend Catholic school.
During the registration process 5K participants were able to select which school their fees would benefit. Each participating school was asked to apply the funds to an on-campus project.
St. Monica Catholic School in Converse is planning to place the funds toward the school’s technology program to help fund Mac Book computers for students, according to the school’s technology director, Lisa Jordan.
To ensure participants had the opportunity to celebrate Mass on Sunday, the event began with Mass led by Fr. Jonathan Felux, Personal Secretary to Archbishop Gustavo and Director of Seminarians, and Fr. John Francis Bentley, Chaplain at St. John Paul II Catholic High School.
This year’s run saw participation increase by 62 percent compared to last year. Schools were encouraged to setup ‘Spirit Booths’ and had activities such as face painting, arts and crafts, and games. School performance groups displayed their talents in front of the large crowd before and after the run.
“I cannot believe the number of people that showed in spite of the weather,” said Mimi Crow, Principal at St. Paul Catholic School and founding member of the Run with a Mission 5K Planning Committee. “The upcoming 10th anniversary year should be really great.”
The highlight of the event included a School Throwdown Challenge, costume contest and the spirit booth judging. St. Gerard Catholic High School took home first place in the School Throwdown Challenge which included a three-person 5K relay.
The school’s spirit booths were judged by Superintendent Marti West; Associate Director of Counseling and Student Services, Lynnanne Eurton; Hope for the Future Board members Lyle Baie, Ph.D., William Gonzalez and Alex Ojeda.
After much deliberation, the judges selected St. Gerard Catholic High School and St. Paul Catholic School for first and second place, respectively, in the Spirit Booth competition. St. Gerard took home the Spirit Stick and $2,000 while St. Paul received a $1,000 prize.
Overall the event was a success and is primed to grow even bigger next year.
“The event met the intent – we had largest number of participants to date, great school spirit, awesome opportunity in building community and generating awareness for our Catholic schools, and a packed morning Mass,” said West.
Hope for the Future officials, organizers of the 5K event, say preparations are already underway for the 10th Anniversary Run with a Mission 5K in 2016.