For the first seven BEF Strides for Excellence Fun Runs, runners navigated down the course’s trek during the daylight hours. This year, thanks to innovative thinking by BEF, the run was changed to the inaugural BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run, incorporating several glow-in-the-dark features, including glow chalk, as well as glow bracelets and necklaces, allowing the BEF organization to shine throughout the darkness of the night.
“We had a great response about incorporating the event into a glow fun run,” said White. “It was a really fun and innovative concept to add to our annual event. We thought that if we were going to promote to our schools that we want them to be innovative and to think outside the box and do something new, then we would need to lead by example. We added a few new things this year, including the black lights and the glow-in-the-dark chalk, which added greatly to the run.”
Runners began the inaugural BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run from the high school band practice parking lot to near Panther Stadium and the front of Bullard High School, where runners navigated their way down the aisle of a Bullard ISD school bus. From there, participants headed to the intersection of Houston St. Panther Crossing.
While making their way down Panther Crossing, runners 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 blue 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 purple and green by event volunteers.
Runners then ran through the red glow chalk station near BHS and 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 $26,000 for the organization, which will be given back to Bullard ISD in a variety of ways.
Since its founding in May 2009, BEF has awarded more than $331,000 in grants to Bullard ISD teachers, providing finances for innovative teaching materials, scholarships, and technology in Bullard ISD classrooms.
“Innovative teaching is very important,” said White. “There are outside things entertaining our students today; however, pencil-and-paper education seems to not be interesting to them. It’s important to keep our students’ interests and focus on their education. It’s very rewarding to see students benefit from these grants. Teachers tell us all the time that students really enjoy the different ways of learning these grants provide. It’s great to watch them grow in their education and enjoy education once again. BEF has been able to meet the needs of over 100 innovative teaching grants requested by Bullard ISD teachers. It’s safe to say every student at BISD has been affected by a BEF grant at this point. BEF is the only organization that gives back to students in Bullard ISD, all the way from Pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade.”
Color Sponsors for the BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run included Austin Bank, Bullard Family Dentistry, Campbell Custom Homes, Cooperative Teachers Credit Union, Dog Gone Cool Heating & A/C, Harris Craig Architects Inc., Larry Melhart Insurance Company, Our Family Vet, The Waterpark at The Villages, and Trinity Valley Pools.
Black Light Sponsors for the BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run included Brookshire’s, Capco Engineering Inc., Chicken Express, Esposito Communications, First Baptist Church Bullard, First United Methodist Church of Bullard, Hibbs-Hallmark & Company, Johnson Financial Group, Sawyer Trombley Photography, Southside Bank, The Torrelli Family, and Tyler Athletics.
Glow Sponsors for the BEF Strides for Excellence 5K Glow Run included Barrett & Thomas PC, Bullard Hardware and Napa Auto Parts. Chance and Charlie Moore, Circle C Farm & Ranch, Classic Toyota, Clothes Mentor, East Texas Martial Arts, Hagan Lighting, I Sign Shop, Moak and Kesler PLLC, Petty Irrigation, Landscape and Pest Control, Prothro, Willhelmi, & Company, PLLC, Sam’s Club, SERVPRO of Tyler, Tan This, Texas National Bank, Tony and Karen Padrucco, and The Thiem Family.