Tiger Trot is Near! Sign Up to Run, Walk or Sponsor Central Elementary PTA’s 5K

Central Elementary School‘s 5k and 1K Run and Walk is set for April 13 (register here). This is the eighth annual Tiger Trot to be held at the school to raise money for the Central Elementary’s Parent Teacher Association (PTA). The first year, the group raised $7,000. Now, with a pre-race spaghetti dinner and silent auction, the race brings in upwards of $30,000 (not a typo) or more!

That might be the reason why other schools in the area are getting in on the 5K fun, including plans for South River High School’s Miles for Media 5K and Davidsonville Elementary’s Gator Gallop, both slated for Sunday, May 5.

Tiger Trot runners head for the finish line in 2012′s 5K.

But Edgewater’s Central Elementary remains the Grand-Daddy of them all. The race is on a closed course (no county or state roads) through the Edgewater public school compound that includes Central Elementary, Central Special, South River High and Central Middle.  Each year the race has grown. Currently, race organizers expect to have about 500 participants sign up.

Organizers are actively seeking sponsors and donors. Get your company name/logo on materials, including the race T-shirt. There are several levels of commitment, from the Gold sponsor at $1,000 (and up) to Silver ($500 to $999), Bronze ($100 to $499) and Honorable Mention (up to $99 and merchandise donations). This allows your business to be included at various price points. If ten businesses cut a check for $25, it works out the same for Central Elementary as one person writing a $250 check. So don’t think that small doesn’t help anyone. It helps everyone!

At the starting line in 2009′s Tiger Trot 5K.

Check out their flyer for sponsorship here. That’s also where you’ll get details on sponsorship details plus PTA contact phone/email and all that good stuff you need to know.

A big change this year will be the introduction of the race chip, so there will be NO race day registration.

Again this year, the Navy Sprint Football team will be on site, cheering on students and giving everyone an extra dose of enthusiasm.

For example, last year, a young boy, a second or third grader, was coming up to the finish line. It was probably a 100 yards left and he was winded, struggling to make it to the finish without slowing to a walk. Some Navy Sprint players came up from behind and seemed poised to pass the boy to get to the finish line—after running the course twice. Instead, they slowed, and pretended to be exhausted as they let the child finish the race before them. They all crossed the line together—with the boy in front. The Navy guys cheered and made that boy feel like he was the hero of the New York City marathon.

State Sen. John Astle with the Central Tiger Mascot at an unidentified race participant at the 2010 Tiger Trot.

In response, that little boy had a smile on his face that probably lingered for hours, if not days. It was a heartwarming moment, and not the only one to come out of the race. The players also volunteer at points along the course to guide and encourage the runners.

Nine years ago, the PTA planned the race after reviewing a number of fundraising options. It was either get the children to sell chocolate or pizza or cookie dough, or other unhealthy food options—and give a catalog company 50 percent of the revenue, or come up with something that could get kids outside, keep them moving and create a strong sense of accomplishment. The 5K race won hands down. Even though they’d never organized a 5K, those PTA volunteers did an outstanding (if exhausting) job. Since then, the race has only gotten better each year. The best part? Nearly 100 percent of the proceeds stay right here at the Edgewater school.

The PTA spends a small amount on the timing equipment, marketing materials and items for the auction. They get as much of the spaghetti dinner donated as they can, allowing the maximum amount to stay at the school.

There is no doubt about it, every single child at the school benefits from the funds raised by the PTA and Tiger Trot, whether they participate in the race or their parents join the parent group. In past years, the funding has purchased educational technology, a new stage curtain, books for the media center, the rock climbing wall in the gym, the Let’s Dance Playstation module for physical education class and more.

If you think you aren’t in good enough shape to run the 3.1 mile race, here is Fitness magazine’s beginner training program: Six Weeks to a 5K. Finish the program to run Tiger Trot, then run one of the other local 5Ks. It could be the jump start you need to getting fit this year.

Sponsors

If you have something great to donate to the silent auction (like a week at your vacation beach house or cabin; tickets to a game—Ravens, Redskins, Nats, Orioles, Wizards, Baysox or Bayhawks, merchandise, gift certificates, etc.) email tigertrot@mycentralpta.org. PTA volunteers will be dispatched to pick up the item(s) AND give you a letter for your 2013 taxes from Central Elementary PTA, a 501(c)3 charity.

And if you can’t do the sponsorship, or run in the race, come out to cheer on the runners. It is a great sense of accomplishment for so many of the runners (children and adults).

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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