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North Bend Elementary hosts first Powder Fun Run

Ethan Williams of North Bend Elementary School is dashed with tinted powder as he runs through a color station during the school’s first Powder Fun Run. The 5K and 1 mile noncompetetive race has become North Bend’s spring fundraiser, a healthier alternative over selling chocolate bars. (photo by Lori Lindner)

NORTH LIBERTY– After a bitter winter, students and their families were motivated to get outside and kick up their heels.
Over 450 participants joined in North Bend Elementary’s first annual 5K and 1 Mile Powder Fun Run fundraiser held Saturday, April 12, in North Liberty.
“This was a phenomenal turnout for our first event,” said co-organizer Angie Rummel. “We felt the event was very successful. Even though it was a bit windy, the temps warmed up for us and the rain– and snow– stayed away. After having such a long and cold winter, it was great to be outside and get active.”
The event was also a turn from the school’s traditional spring fundraiser of selling chocolate bars. Following North Bend’s emphasis on healthy snacking with its Pick-A-Better-Snack program and other healthy initiatives the school promotes, the North Bend Parent-Teacher Group (PTG) opted for a fundraiser focused on family, fitness and fun. In this race, runners went through various color stations along the route, where they were doused with cornstarch-based colored powder of different hues. Rummel and co-chair Michelle Emmel helped to organize the event, which not only offered non-competitive 1-mile and 5K walk/run opportunities, but also featured door prizes, a deejay playing energetic beats on the loudspeaker, healthy refreshments and crowd-pleasing color bursts: every participant was given a bag of the tinted powder, gathered in a common spot, and on the count of three, released it into the air overhead, creating a huge cloud of color that floated away on the breeze.
Organizers have heard many positive comments about the event, Rummel said.
“Our Facebook page for the run and for the school parent teacher group exploded Saturday afternoon and Sunday with comments from those who participated,” Rummel said, “and we saw lots of photos being posted by families who participated with us.” She credits the many volunteers and sponsors who shared in making the event a success.
“It was a total group effort and wouldn’t have happened without the great parent volunteers that we have,” Rummel said.
Funds raised were at least equal to the amount previously garnered selling candy, Rummel noted, but the real success showed on the faces of participants.
“There were so many smiles Saturday morning as people finished their runs, and lots of laughter. It was wonderful to see families sticking around to enjoy the refreshments provided by our generous sponsors and just taking time out of their day to meet other families from our community,” said Rummel.
Proceeds from the event go toward classroom enrichment, playground equipment, technology equipment, field trips, guest speakers and educational supplies. Rummel said the PTG is hoping to make the run an annual event.
“Our intent is to hold another run next spring and continue to promote healthy living for our students, their families and our community.  What better way to live that message than with a fun run like this? I can’t wait for next year,” Rummel said.