Polk County Family and Community Outreach Department host first annual fun run fundraiser

DALLAS -- Registration is open and on-going for the first annual Back to School Dash on Saturday, August 4.

Sponsored by the Polk County Family & Community Outreach Department and partnering with the Dallas United Methodist Church, this fun run/walk was created in conjunction with Dallas Family Night out, an event that serves families of Polk County with a night of games, food, raffles and prizes, as well as backpack and school supply giveaways for every grade level to youth who otherwise couldn’t afford them.

“One hundred percent of the proceeds from the back to school dash go to helping kids get school supplies,” Brent DeMoe, director of the Family and Community Outreach Department, said.

Last year, they were able to hand out over 700 backpacks, DeMoe said.

This year, he’s hoping to give away even more, which is where the back to school dash comes in.

“We really need people to sign up (for the race),” Demoe said. His goal is to have 250 people sign up and participate. If that happens, “we could meet our goal for fundraising,” he said, which would include bringing in an additional 300 backpacks full of school supplies to give away.

The 5k run or walk begins at 9 a.m. August 4 at Dallas United Methodist Church and follows the Rickreall Creek trail system, circling back to the church at the end. The trails are paved, and the race is stroller, wheelchair, kid and pet friendly.

Before and after the race, there will be food vendors, like Speak Cheezy and Beal ice cream and treats, available for purchase.

Registration is $35, and you can register through the day of, by going to eclecticedgeracing.com/back-to-school-dash.html, by stopping by the Outreach Department’s booth at Summerfest, where they will have registration forms and more information, or by picking up a form at the resource center, located at 182 SW Academy Street, #220.

If racing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of areas of opportunity to volunteer, including helping to run water stations along the route, helping to direct traffic during the race, marking the race the day before and more.

“We’re excited because we are expanding,” Stephanie Gilbert, early learning and family engagement coordinator, said. “We get to help out with all of the back to school distributions across the county.”

For all questions regarding participating in the race or volunteering, contact Gilbert at Gilbert.stephanie@co.polk.or.us

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