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First annual Running of the Beavers a success

Bucky+the+Beaver+sends+off+the+participants+of+the+first+annual+Running+of+the+Beavers.+The+event+also+raised+over+%2420%2C000+for+the+foundation.
Bucky the Beaver sends off the participants of the first annual Running of the Beavers. The event also raised over $20,000 for the foundation.

Bucky the Beaver sends off the participants of the first annual Running of the Beavers. The event also raised over $20,000 for the foundation.

Melina Monlux

Melina Monlux

Bucky the Beaver sends off the participants of the first annual Running of the Beavers. The event also raised over $20,000 for the foundation.

Melina Monlux, News Editor

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The Ballard foundation, a group that works to sponsor and fund students and activities at school, put on a 5k run on Saturday, April 1 to raise money for the organization. The funds will be used in the coming years to help support students in their extracurricular pursuits.

“The foundation has just been a fundraising machine for Ballard High School, I think it’s raised over 3.5 million dollars,” Sue Verduin, Running of the Beaver Chair, said. “The biggest part of the pie of what we give goes to athletics, because of the golf tournament, and then there’s performing arts, and the library, as well as big projects such as the GAINS program.”

The 5k was an additional fundraiser the foundation decided to put on this year, with the hopes of raising money and starting a new community event.

“The inspiration behind running of the beavers was to create a community event that would support the high school but also bring many different people from the community together,” Verduin said.  “To add to that, to try and get all the younger people moving into the area into the mix and show them that there is a high school here, while showing off one of the most beautiful areas of the city, Golden Gardens and truly, home of the beavers.”

The run is set to take place annually on the first Saturday of April.

“Our goal is to hit about 300 participants in the first year, and to net about $20,000 when all is said and done,” Verduin said.  “We’re hoping it will grow, the turkey trot only had around 200 its first year and now its at 2 or 3 thousand.”

Saturday proved to be a success for the foundation, as over 300 runners turned out for the first annual run, including various ballard alumni and Bucky the Beaver. The event also raised over $20,000 for the foundation.

The runners took off just after 9, with the competitive participants bolting off at the start, others enjoying a brisk pace in the middle, and many walking.  The first place finisher for the men was Ballard alum Alex Bowns, with a time of 18:01, and close behind him, with a time of 19:37, was the female first place finisher, Erica McElrea.

Ballard High School was well represented at the event, with Gymnastics coach Stephanie Gundel finishing second for the women, and teacher Eileen Yardley finishing 5th.  The band and cheerleading squad were also in attendance, sending the runners off at the starting line.

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First annual Running of the Beavers a success