DOBSON — A 5k race raised more than $25,000 for the Surry County Schools Education Foundation.
In late April more than 600 runners took part in the 5th-Annual MAD Dash 5k and Fun Run, according to a press release from the county school system.
The district’s communications director, Sonia Dickerson, said MAD stands for Making A Difference, and the money raised at the event will do just that.
According to the statement Dickerson prepared, the $25,000 raised will be put toward providing enhanced learning opportunities for students throughout the district.
Those programs are educational opportunities not covered by the regular funding the schools receive, explained Dickerson. They include financial support for Battle of the Books teams, choral competition registration fees and robotics supplies.
Dickerson said support for the education foundation has continued to grow throughout the five years it has held the annual race. While 600 or so ran, hundreds more showed up to support the runners and the foundation.
“We had a great turnout this year, increasing our participation over last year by more than 50 percent,” said John Priddy, chairman of the foundation board of directors. “We added a team challenge this year, and every elementary school had a GROW (Go Run Our World) Strong Team running in the event. It is wonderful to see how our community, employees, and business partners support education and Surry County Schools!”
Dickerson said the GROW Teams are running clubs at all 11 of the district’s elementary schools.
The race began at Surry Community College and, after leading runners along a 3.1-mile course, ended at the Rex Mitchell Track and Field at Surry Central High School’s stadium. A shorter “fun run” followed the longer race.
The top three male runners were Tony Riggs with a time of 18:20, Carson Draughn with a time of 19:03 and Justin Atkins who finished the race in 19:20.
Ashley Sumner finished at the front of the pack among females, completing the race with a time of 21:18. She was followed by Kirsten Martin, who posted a time of 21:41, and Deanne Fitzgerald, who crossed the finish line at 22:12.
However, school officials noted the real winners are Surry County’s students.
“The Surry County Schools Education Foundation has become a part of the culture of Surry County Schools, and our schools rely on the support of the foundation to enhance and enrich educational experiences for our students,” said Dr. Travis Reeves, superintendent.
Ashley Mills, the district’s liaison to the foundation, said the foundation will provide about $45,000 this school year to support enhanced learning opportunities for the children the district serves.
Andy is a staff writer and may be reached at 415-4698.