Panther Foundation to host second annual 5k walk/run

Spring Lake Park District 16’s Panther Foundation will host its second annual 5K Walk/Run and Family Celebration Sept. 29.

District 16’s Panther Foundation hosts its second annual 5K walk/run Saturday, Sept. 29. New this year is a 2K walk/run. Last year’s event (pictured above) drew abot 450 participants. File photo by Elyse Kaner

District 16’s Panther Foundation hosts its second annual 5K walk/run Saturday, Sept. 29. New this year is a 2K walk/run. Last year’s event (pictured above) drew abot 450 participants. File photo by Elyse Kaner

Open to all community members, the celebration and 5K was conceived to foster community and to promote health and wellness.

The run, which drew about 450 participants in its debut effort last year, will be held as part of the high school’s homecoming weekend events.

Registration starts at 10 a.m. The run starts at 11 a.m. at the high school stadium. Family fun activities will be offered 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Panther Stadium field. The walk/run will follow the perimeters of the high school complex and continue into surrounding neighborhoods. Adults, $20. Youth $10, Family pass, $60.

Register at Spring Lake Park High School’s main entrance in the rotunda. Enter door No. 1.

New this year, a modified 2K course, which loops around the school, will be set up for participants not wanting to complete the entire course.

Panther Stadium will see a lot of action. The family fun event will feature inflatable bouncers, games, crazy hair and more for the kids. Spring Lake Park High School bands will perform.

Among sponsors for the celebration are Allina Health – Unity Hospital, Best Buy, Hoffman Weber Construction, Chris Hasling of Northwestern Mutual and Spring Lake Park schools.

The Panther Foundation funds creative and innovative projects and grants to benefit students in the district.

Started in 2004, the foundation has awarded $501,000 in grants and special requests to the district to date. It has built an endowment fund of $65,000 “that we intend to keep growing,” said Chris Hasling, foundation president.

The mission of the organization is to enhance the education of all students, empower innovations and to bridge the community, staff and students.

The funds allow students unique opportunities beyond the district’s general fund budget.

Grants have ranged anywhere from $200 to $22,000.

Through its funding the foundation has helped, in part, to bring smart boards to about one-half of the district’s K-5 classrooms. It pays for book purchases for the libraries and it has funded, in part, the startup of the district’s first robotics team.

To become a member of the Panther Foundation, the group accepts donations ranging from $25 to $100 or any amount one chooses to give. Memberships are renewed on an annual basis. Community members, parents, staff and students are welcome to join. For a limited time, individuals can sign up for a $100 Silver Membership and get a free family pass to the walk/run event.

The Panther Foundation has about 220 members.

For more information, visit the district’s website at www.springlakeparkschools.org or call Colleen Pederson at 763-785-5533.

Elyse Kaner is at elyse.kaner@ecm-inc.com


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