PSE is a year-round Silver sponsor for Bainbridge Youth Services (BYS), which includes sponsorship of the BYS 39th Annual 4th of July Fun Run – the non-profit’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This year the event broke records for both participation in the 5K, 1-mile, and Kids Dash (1,209 people) and in the money raised, totaling $30,170. Not only is the Fun Run one of the premier running events of the West Puget Sound, it is a fun, annual community tradition for families and friends.
Runners and walkers from ages nine months to 82 years and from as far away as Hong Kong, Thailand, Belgium, Germany, and Scotland came out for the event. Entire families, 119 teams, and individuals young and old came to run or walk – some pushing babies in strollers and others walking their dogs. People came from 47 cities in 21 states, including a woman from Virginia who first ran the Fun Run in 1986 and came back this year to run with her son.
Bainbridge Island Police Chief Matt Hamner and Fire Chief Hank Teran were friendly rivals in the 1-mile event, running with a record of 301 registrants, compared with 224 last year. In the 5K, 835 people signed up, compared with 800 last year, and the popular Kids Dash attracted nearly 80 youngsters.
A special treat for the Kids Dashers this year was an appearance by the entire Bainbridge High School cheerleading squad and members of the Bainbridge Island Rope Skippers. Kids Dash emcee Jon Green and Bainbridge Athletic Club’s Amanda Stevenson had the kids literally jumping through hoops, running through human tunnels, and hopping their way to the finish line.
Fun Run proceeds help provide free mental health counseling and tutoring, and job training scholarships for local youth ages 12 through 21. In addition to signing up for the race, 11 percent of participants gave an extra donation to BYS.