Three years ago, Home and School Association (HSA) took a good idea and ran with it.
The idea started at Bryn Mwar Rehab, when an occupational therapist coworker of current St. David HSA president Peg Dombrowski informed her that it isn’t hard to organize a 5k run/walk fundraising event.
Dombrowski, in turn, pitched the idea to her school’s HSA, who readily agreed.
“Health and wellness is always something we try to support at St. David’s,” Dombrowski said.
Soon after, Dombrowski attended ’s finance meeting, where she also brought up the fundraising idea.
At the meeting, representatives of the St. Vincent DePaul Society–St. David Conference, the local branch of the national charitable organization, expressed particular interest in the event.
According to Dombrowski, the St. Vincent dePaul Society–St. David Conference has participated in the national organization’s walk/run event in the fall, but it has not been well attended in recent years.
Proceeds from the St. David 5K run/two-mile walk would benefit both the St. David school community, which includes the special needs school Our Lady of Confidence, and the St. Vincent dePaul–St. David Conference.
“(The St. Vincent dePaul Society's) proceeds (from the 5k walk/run event) will benefit the needy in this area,” Dombrowski said.
The next step involved researching how to organize the event and delegating tasks to the newly formed St. David HSA 5k run/two-mile walk committee.
“As a committee, everybody took different things,” Dombrowski said.
A committee member’s sister, a graphic designer, helped with the creation of an information brochure and registration form.
St. David students even helped out by creating the event’s mascot, a determined-looking walking book wearing a headband with the school’s name on it and little crosses on its sneakers.
Last year, the group that signed up the most participants, the sixth-grade students, were rewarded with a pizza party. This year, the winning class will receive a “No Uniform Today” pass.
The committee was especially successful in attaining local sponsors to help with the start-up costs of the event.
One such sponsor, the Jenkintown Running Co., was helpful in guiding the committee with the logistics of the event.
“It’s one thing to Google how to run a 5k,” Dombrowski said. “And it’s another thing to have someone who knows what they’re doing, and they’re local.”
Dombrowski said that the township also helped the committee procure Masons Mill Park as the setting of the event. The Jenkintown Running Co. then helped to measure and time a course throughout the park to make the 5k run portion of the event as official as possible.
According to Dombrowski, the extra effort was to encourage competitive long-distance runners from outside the St. David community to participate in the event.
“We even chose April as the time frame,” Dombrowski said. “I understand that runners often participate in smaller runs to prep themselves for longer ones.”
Furthermore, the Jenkintown Running Co. pointed the St. David HSA to Fast Cat Sports, a Philadelphia-based race management productions company.
Fast Cat offered further expert advice, as well as its representatives to officiate the 5k run part of the event, at a discounted rate.
Last year, the event drew 192 participants, and Dombrowski said she is hoping to see similar numbers this year.
“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said of last year’s turnout, “but we were really happy about that.”
More on the St. David 5k run/two-mile walk
- The St. David 5k run/two-mile walk is scheduled for April 9, from 9 to 11 a.m., after which participants and the public are welcome to join the St. David community to celebrate the school’s 90th year in a picnic at Masons Mill Park. That event is bring your own lunch, and games will be provided.
- Registration packages may be picked up in the lobby of the St. David School gym April 8, from 5 to 8 p.m., and participants and their families are welcomed to attend the school’s annual Family Movie Night. This year, the film shown will be Despicable Me.
- Pre-registration for adults costs $20, and the first 100 registrants receive a free T-shirt. After the pre-registration time period, adults cost $25, and the cost is $10 for children 14 and under.
- Pre-registration for this event concludes by the end of today.
- Walk-up registration is accepted.