RIPON – The torrential downpours that came with the last storm systems that passed over the South County made the track at Ripon High School unusable.
It was a reminder for a group of Ripon residents that are spearheading a fundraising effort to renovate the stadium, the track, and the playing surface as to why they’re attempting to create something that will provide a state-of-the-art facility for the next generation of athletes.
On Saturday, May 8, the Ripon Community Athletic Foundation will again host Rina’s Run. The 5K and 10K run at the track serves as the organization’s main fundraiser for the Stouffer Field project.
It would have been easy to have organized a dinner dance or some other type of fundraiser. The run, though, allows those who participate the chance to see the current condition of the track while providing an outlet for the community that places an emphasis on fitness in an age of sedentary lifestyles.
“Having the run really ties in with what the RCAF is trying do for the community as a whole,” said race director Laurie Reilly. “It’s something that has grown a lot in the last three years since we began this, and that helps raise awareness while providing an activity that helps lead to a healthy community.”
For $25 participants are treated not only to the race but also a T-shirt, post-race refreshments, and awards for the individual races. Participation costs were cut in order to make the race more appealing to people in the community and help the event grow to the goal of more than 300 runners.
Race organizers are still searching for sponsors for the event that will be recognized on both the T-shirts that are handed out to participants as well as signage that will be placed around the track on the day of the event – an important revenue stream for an organization that relies solely on private donations in their attempt to secure the necessary funding for the proposed project.
“What we have is a high school track and field that some people believe is used six to eight times more than your standard track and field,” Reilly said. “It would be wonderful to have another track that could be used by everyone and also provide a lucrative opportunity for the high school to rent out the facility to those who need a state-of-the-art complex.”
Additional information as well as registration forms for the event can be found on the group’s website at www.rcafsite.com. To inquire about sponsorship or donations related to Rina’s Run, contact Reilly at 985-7445, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.