Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Saturday's Price Hill Pacer benefits community services, development

The fifth annual Price Hill Pacer 5K takes place this Saturday at 9 a.m. at Elder High School's Schaeper Center.

Runners and walkers will wind their way through the streets surrounding the school, with all proceeds benefitting the community services and development projects undertaken by Santa Maria Community Services and Price Hill Will.

A cash prize of $100 will be awarded to the top male and female runners, and special awards will be provided to the top male and female finishers in each of 12 age divisions.

New to the event this year is the Harmony Garden Challenge Award.

Harmony Garden, whose mission is to support the growth of healthy girls, is sponsoring a challenge to female runners and walkers to form teams. The three teams with the highest number of girls and women registered win cash prizes ranging from $200 to $500, which they can donate to their designated community organization.

Nune Krayterman, development director with Santa Maria, says that the race is its second-largest fundraiser behind its December Birthday Brunch. The non-profit typically holds three or four special fundraising events a year.

"Depending on the situation of the agency, the funds raised through special events can be restricted on unrestricted," she says. "This is year's 5K Pacer will raise unrestricted funds which will be applied to wherever the need is the most."

And that need is even more important now, says marketing and resource development specialist Leslie Schultz.

"In these economic times we are seeing fewer donations, but more families need help," she says. "So we are trying to help more people with fewer dollars. It's a challenging environment."

Although the proceeds are a less significant part of its budget, Price Hill Will Director of Community Organizing Diana Vakharia says that the Pacer does serve to raise awareness of the neighborhood.

"The race, which has been growing in participation each year, is bringing in hundreds of runners and walkers to Price Hill," she says. "It's a beautiful run."

Race day registration is $25 for adults and $20 for children and includes the entry fee, refreshments, and a T-shirt. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.

A Kids' Fun Run for children ages 10 and under will follow the race.