Runners and racers of all ages and abilities gathered together to support an organization near and dear to the hearts of many within the Bullard community, as the Bullard Education Foundation held its ninth annual “Strides for Excellence” 5K Fun Run Friday, March 30, on the grounds of Bullard Independent School District.
For the first seven BEF Strides for Excellence Fun Runs, runners navigated down the course’s trek during the daylight hours. However, for the past two events, BEF has incorporated innovative planning and thinking into the event, transforming the race into a glow-in-the-dark race.
“It’s amazing to have an event like the BEF Glow Color Fun Run because we are able to put money back into the education of the students at Bullard ISD,” said Erin Thiem, BEF president. “We’re blessed to have an event that is fun for the whole family, and is also innovative, allowing us to have more fun than a normal fun run.”
According to Thiem, the event drew participation from approximately 200 competitors, while also attracting support from a number of local sponsors.
Runners began the inaugural BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run from the high school band practice parking lot onto Houston St., then turning onto Panther Crossing, where they were sprayed with red glow chalk as they made their way past the intersection of Panther Crossing and School House Road on their way to Bullard Intermediate School.
At the BIS campus, participants ran through the campus’s pick-up traffic loop, where volunteers armed with purple glow chalk were armed and ready. Runners then made their way over and around to the Bullard Middle School traffic loop and were colored with pink glow chalk.
Afterwards, participants raced their way over to the bus loop of the Bullard Early Childhood Campus, where they were artistically painted by volunteers with yellow glow chalk.
From the BECC campus, runners ran back onto Panther Crossing and around the large Bullard Primary School and Bullard Elementary School traffic loop, and back onto Panther Crossing after being colored blue and green by event volunteers.
Runners then ran through the red glow chalk station on Panther Crossing once again and then onto the BHS campus’s Agriculture back road, where they ran through lines of volunteers with orange glow chalk and headed towards the finish line back at the BHS band parking lot.
Through registration fees and sponsorships for the inaugural BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run, the event raised approximately $30,000 for the organization, which will be given back to Bullard ISD in a variety of ways.
Glow sponsors for the 2018 BEF Color Glow Run included Sheila and Bret Berry, Cherokee County Electric, Sawyer Trombley Photography, Chance and Charlie Moore, L&L Ashpalt, the Thiem family, the Wildt family, Hibbs-Hallmark Co., Hagen’s Lighting, Clothes Mentor, Classic Toyota, the Creel family, and Serv-Pro of Tyler.
The event’s Color Sponsors this year included Austin Bank, Dog Gone Cool, X-Cel Properties, Capco Engineering, Cherokee Travel Center, Campbell Custom Homes, Harris Craig Architects Inc., Capps-Capco Construction Inc., Our Family Vet, Cooperative Teachers Credit Union, and Johnson Financial Group.
BEF Color Glow Run Black Light sponsors included Bullard Family Dentistry, OnCor, Tyler Athletics, Bullard Baseball and Softball Association, Southside Bank, Woodmen Life, PCC Communications, Citizens State Bank, Morris Timber, and Auto Body Express.
Since its founding in May 2009, BEF has now awarded more than $400,000 in grants to Bullard ISD teachers, providing finances for innovative teaching materials, scholarships, and technology in Bullard ISD classrooms.
“It’s very important for BEF to raise money for innovative education at Bullard ISD because if we didn’t, there wouldn’t be so many awesome educational opportunities around the district like we do now,” said Thiem. “The impact on the educational experiences at Bullard ISD made possible by BEF can literally be felt all the way from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade. We also provide a number of scholarships for seniors to attend college and further their education after graduating from Bullard ISD, as well as honor some of our phenomenal teachers for their efforts in educating our students. We love Bullard ISD and hope to continue to partner with the district to improve education.”
For more information about BEF, visit www.bullardeducationfoundation.org.
Headline: BEF shines brightly, raises $30K through Glow Color Fun Run event
Caption: A runner races his way through the blue chalk station at the entrance of the Bullard Elementary School traffic loop during the ninth annual “Strides for Excellence” 5K Fun Run held Friday, March 30, on the grounds of Bullard Independent School District. The event, which was the second year incorporating a glow-in-the-dark theme, saw approximately 200 runners competing and raised $30,000. PHOTO BY MICAH MCCARTNEY