Colorful Fundraiser Will Help Fund Playground

Colored corn starch paints the runners purple. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)
Colored corn starch paints the runners purple. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

BRICK – An estimated 400 students, faculty and family members ran a mile in the annual Color Run fundraiser, hosted by the Emma Havens Young Elementary School PTA recently.

Some of the money raised would help to pay for a school playground to replace a structurally unsafe playground that was removed about two months ago, said PTA President Denise SanFillippo.

The school has one remaining playground for some 775 K-fifth grade student population, which is about five years old, she said.

Vincent Policriti, 7, a 1st grader at EHY holds the Color Run frame prop. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)
Vincent Policriti, 7, a 1st grader at EHY holds the Color Run frame prop. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

The PTA membership decided that a percentage of the event’s proceeds would go towards the playground, while the remaining percentage would be added to the general membership fund, she said before the race began.

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The organization funds field trips, assemblies, student agendas, field day t-shirts, and much more, SanFillippo said.

The run starts behind Emma Havens Young School, goes to the Twin County Soccer fields in the adjacent Drum Point Sports Complex, continues into the Brick Dragons football and cheer field, and crosses back to the finish line in the school yard.

Runners are doused from head to toe with a different colored powder at four separate locations along the route, explained PTA member Penny Chandler who chairs the event, and whose husband Bill is in charge of the colored corn starch-based powder.

“It’s a fundraiser that’s fun, and the kids love it,” he said. “They go through stations and get colors thrown at them. I use a repurposed fire extinguisher to shoot the powder, so it’s fun for me too.”

About 20 students from the Brick High School National Honor Society and five students from the Lake Riviera Middle School National Junior Honor Society were on hand at the four stations to toss the colored corn starch at the runners as they came through.

Organizer Penny Chandler poses with her daughter, Larissa, 14, at the starting line. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)
Organizer Penny Chandler poses with her daughter, Larissa, 14, at the starting line. (Photo by Judy Smestad-Nunn)

The fundraising event also featured a Zumba dance warm-up by DS Fitness, a Kona ice truck, live radio broadcasting through B98.5 FM, a prize wheel, raffle, professional face painters from Fantasy Face & Body, and Wang Orthodontics donated 500 t-shirts.

EHY kindergarten teacher Amy Cromen worked her way towards the start line just before 5 p.m. race.

Cromen’s twins, who are fifth-graders at EHY, were running with their friends while she and her 12-year old daughter ran together.

“I’m not really a runner, but this is exciting. I ran the past three years, and we have a great time. The kids count down to it, it’s a great event,” she said.

First-grader Andrew Bates, 7, had his face painted like a tiger while waiting for the race to begin.

“This is my second time, I’m a fast runner,” he said. “I’m gonna try to be in first place. I feel very confident,” said the 7-year old.

The day after the race, organizer Penny Chandler said the event had raised some $5,000 to $6,000.

“It was just as wonderful as other years,” she said. “Putting the time and energy into something that has become a traditional fundraiser is great,” Chandler said.