July 21, 2012
Families, dogs, Santa Claus - even the White Queen from Alice in Wonderland - all showed up Saturday to support the Salvation Army at a run and walk, but attendance fell short of expectations.
About 60 people ran around the Flying Horse Ranch neighborhood in the Fourth Annual 5K Run/Walk for Hope and Paws for a Cause dog walk. Last year, the run year drew about 150 people.
This year, the event was expected to raise $15,000. That’s about half of what the major fundraiser usually makes for the charity’s general fund, said Rose Mertz development director for the event.
The money goes to fund afterschool programs, a homeless shelter and many other programs.
Mertz attributed the lower turnout to the Waldo Canyon fire.
“A lot of the people who usually come out had disaster fatigue,” she said.
Addriana Watson, special projects coordinator, said the fire also prevented staff from promoting the event as much as usual. Salvation Army staff served 40,000 meals during the fire.
Watson said more fundraising plans to make up the difference will probably be made Monday.
Still, racers and their families had plenty of fun.
Santa Claus, in his summer wardrobe, passed out candy and the White Queen encouraged kids in the fun run, including the youngest racer of the day.
Katie Bradley, 16 months, started the fun run for kids and tottered her way across the field. “She’s pretty outgoing. If she had seen the others running she would have been curious,” said her father Joel Bradley.
So her parents let her run as far as she could before scooping her up.
A few older kids participated in both the fun run and the 5k.
Mikayla Toney, 8, raced across the line into her father’s arms smiling in her Jack Quinn’s Runners Club shirt.
Her family joined the club a year ago, and Mikayla earned her club shirt after she finished her 10th race. She loves running and competing.
“I want to be an athlete when I grow up,” she said.
Others came out to simply enjoy the day with their dogs and still got a workout.
Bella, the bulldog, collapsed protectively around her water dish as awards were passed out.
Bella and her owner, Teri Finn, usually hike, and Saturday set out just to finish.
“I told Bella, we’re going to make a name for ourselves and come in dead last,” she said.
If you missed the race but would still like to donate to the Salvation Army, visit tsacs.org.