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An annual race up and down the Springwater Trail to Ardenwald raises funds for S.M.S. in Sellwood

DAVID F. ASHTON - Three of the many participants in the 2019 Sellwood Middle School 5K Fun Run smiled and waved for THE BEE as they jogged toward the Springwater Corridor Trail. Instead of dodging the dicey early spring weather, volunteers with Sellwood Middle School (SMS) Foundation moved their annual "5K Fun Run" to May 5, which coincided with Cinco de Mayo observances in the Portland area.

Families started warming up before the official 10 a.m. sendoff – via a route which took runners, joggers, and walkers on a short out-and-back trek along the Springwater Corridor Trail.

"It seems like this is perhaps our 15th Fun Run; it was called, for years, 'Run for Ed'," remarked volunteer organizer Lemmy Cooper. "This year, in addition to including our sponsors, we're adding even more 'local flavor' by bringing in a mobile bar, and having a teacher provide the T-shirt art."

And, one way or another, around a dozen volunteers worked on 5K this year, Cooper observed – getting permits, sponsorships, and doing promotion, as well as handling day-of-the-run operations.

Tropical music provided by the well-known Sellwood Middle School Marimba Band kept the pre-run activities lively. And, before the 5K got underway, organizers held a short once-around-the-yard race for little kids to participate in.

As the main event's start time approached, the Cleveland High School Cross Country Team fanned out along the route to serve as crossing guards, and to provide directional wayfinding.

"I'm so grateful; this is a win-win for everyone," said SMS Principal Karl Newsome as the runners took off. "It's amazing to see this outpouring of support for our school community. It's spearheaded by our Foundation, along with the assistance of our PTA – with parents, community members and staff all working together."

The result of the event isn't esoteric, mused Newsome: "This provides real and tangible support for our students – by adding hours for school counselors, and elective education – so we see the results from this immediately."

Through sponsorships, entry fees, and other sales, the 5K was expected to raise more than $13,000 for the school this year.

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