Annual run/walk raises money for school equipment, services in Hampton
Last-minute types always show up for the annual 5K run and one-mile walk set to raise money for educational extras in Hampton.
“We definitely take walk-ups,” said Jill Hamlin, co-chair of the fundraising race scheduled Oct. 15 at Hartwood Acres to benefit the Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence.
“We have T-shirts for walk-ups, until they run out,” Hamlin said. “Honestly, people do wait because of the weather. If it's cold and rainy, people don't want to go.”
About 700 children, teenagers and adults typically participate in the rain-or-shine event, Hamlin said.
Runners and walkers all will follow the gravel and paved loops at Hartwood Acres. The run and walk both will start behind the stage on Middle Road Performance Field.
Each year, the race and walk raise funds for grants used to buy items and services, ranging from classroom equipment to videoconferences, that benefit Hampton students. The event is HAEE's biggest fundraiser.
“We make around $25,000 per race, after expenses, depending on weather and a few other variables,” Hamlin said in an email.
Each year, Hampton teachers apply for the HAEE grants used to buy, for example, the CNC routers — computer-controlled cutting machines — purchased for the technology education classrooms at Hampton middle and high schools.
“Our teachers are so smart, and they have the best ideas,” Hamlin said.
HAEE also gives scholarships to graduating Hampton High School seniors.
The upcoming race also could be a prize producer for Hampton elementary students.
Superintendent Michael Loughead has offered to give a $5 Barnes & Noble gift card to every kindergartener through fifth-grader who beats Loughead's family members in the 5K run.
“My wife, Mimi, and both of my daughters, Emily and Helen, will be participating to encourage families to participate,” Loughead said in an email. “My goal with the challenge is to support the HAEE mission as well as to promote literacy with our students.”
Marlynn Lux, acting principal at Hampton Middle School, has made a tasty offer to her students who run in the race.
“There will be an ice cream party at lunch for the entire grade level with the most participation in the HAEE run/walk,” Lux said in an email. “This ice cream party will be on Wednesday, Oct. 19.”
Lux plans to attend the race and walk to spot the middle school students “showing the most school spirit,” Lux wrote. “The middle school students with the best times in each grade level and those selected for school spirit will receive gift cards.”
The Hampton Alliance for Educational Excellence, an all-volunteer nonprofit group, meets monthly at Hampton Middle School to “encourage, support, recognize and reward excellence and innovation in Hampton Township School District,” according to HAEE's mission statement.
Deborah Deasy is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.