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The fundraising race, in the past held in the fall, has moved to springtime, with success

DAVID F. ASHTON - The SMS Foundations 5K Co-Organizer, Brent Welch; SMS Vice Principal Marylyn John; Principal Karl Newsome; and Organizer Lemmy Cooper, got together for a photo for THE BEE just before the 5K run and walk began. The event that started out years ago, then called "Run for Ed", and now known as the Sellwood Middle School (SMS) "Foundation 5K Run", originally held on the first of October.

But this year, organizers turned it into a spring event in hopes of better weather, said SMS Foundation volunteer and event organizer Lemmy Cooper. This year it took place on April 22.

"It's not a competitive race; this is truly a 'fun run and walk' for those who come out to participate, on this fine morning," Cooper grinned, as participants gathered in the field south of the school.

While folks warmed up for a run or walk, organizers held a "1K" event for little kids, in which they ran around the schoolyard several times, serenaded by music from the SMS Marimba Band. As the official start time of 10:00 a.m. for the main event neared, it appeared as if they were meeting their goal of 250 on hand to participate.

SMS Principal Karl Newsome was all smiles as it got underway. "That these volunteers and participants are here shows an awesome sense of investment and support of what we do," he said. "I feel joyous and elated, seeing their collective effort to enhance what we do for our students in our community."

At that point, the runners took off, followed by the walkers, bound eastward along S.E. Umatilla Street to 19th Avenue, south to the Springwater Corridor Trail, and east on that path to a turnaround at S.E. 37th Avenue, and then heading back to the school.

This run and walk is the school's major fundraiser for its foundation, and this year they intended to raise $15,000 from registrations and 16 business sponsorships, Cooper told THE BEE. "My daughter is a sixth-grader here, and I'm volunteer because the funds the foundation raises will help 'buy' another full-time counselor at the school."

With that, the rest of the participants ran off under the sunshine and into the cool, crisp morning air.

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