Lighting Ideas For Events

4/19/2018 - West Side Leader

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By Sean Patrick

Annual event raising funds for Case greenhouse, Firestone Field Project

Shown are runners taking part in a previous Race for Case 5K.

Photo courtesy of Craig Sampsell

WEST AKRON — The sixth annual Race for Case 5K will take place May 19 at Hardesty Park and Craig Sampsell, treasurer of the Case Elementary PTA, said the goal of this event “has multiple layers.”

“At the start of this event six years ago, we wanted to plan some type of physical activity to encourage students, families, staff and staff families, and members of the community to come together to have fun while focusing on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle,” he said. “While brainstorming ideas, we wanted to do something that would be possible for all children to continue after they left Case [Elementary School]. Looking at the different tiers of running within our community, we were all in agreement that we should do a run.”

Along those lines, Sampsell said the Race for Case 5K has become an important fundraising event for the school.

“We had a need to increase technology within our school. We decided any proceeds from this race would help fund a computer lab. With the help of our wonderful sponsors and runners, we were able to complete this project the first year,” he stated. “After the race, we had tremendous feedback. We knew it had to continue. We decided that the second project would tag into the new building of Case. Although all playgrounds are ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] compliant, we wanted to do it better. We wanted every child to have access if they were running or in a wheelchair. We wanted all members of the community to be able to enjoy the playground regardless of ability. This project took a few years to fund, but we were again successful.”

According to Sampsell, the scope of the race’s charitable focus will expand this year.

“As we started planning, we looked to identify who we are as an IB [International Baccalaureate] school. IB students are charged with applying their knowledge and taking action within the community,” he said. “So the question was posed, what is a need within our community? As we completed a brainstorm again, one of the options was the Firestone [Community Learning Center (CLC)] Field Project. This is a project within the community that also attaches to our original goal of encouraging a healthy lifestyle that students can continue once they leave Case. With that, we began contacting individuals from Firestone to begin the partnership for this year’s race. So this year, we are using our race as a vehicle to help them raise funds for their project, while also continuing our fundraising for a greenhouse at the new Case CLC.”

Sampsell said the goal of this year’s event is to raise $7,500 to not only complete the greenhouse, but also to contribute toward the Firestone Field Project’s ongoing improvements, such as “the new track, soccer field and football field at [Firestone] to include a rubberized track, lighting and seating for events.”

“Registrants can choose which they want to support when they sign up,” he noted.

Registration for the 5K is available at A 1-mile fun run/walk is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m., Sampsell said, with the 5K event set to start at 8:30 a.m.

“We are currently securing a food truck and alumni Firestone band members to play at the park,” he noted. “We are also looking into some other family friendly games and we will also have a gift basket raffle.”

Sampsell said there “really are no rules for the event.”

“In fact, we are open to runners, joggers, walkers and strollers. We just want everyone to be able to take part and encourage healthy lifestyles, which includes physical activity. That’s why we include a 1 mile for the younger future runners,” he stated. “Participants should expect to feel successful. It is our belief that running is a journey. There is no finish line. The starting line is the most important part. We encourage all individuals of every ability to come join us. It doesn’t matter if you cross the finish line first running or last walking, you will be supported. This event is family friendly and for all ages and abilities.”

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