Washougal students prepare to Stride

Pre-registration continues through May 12

One of the Washougal Schools Foundation’s most popular events is gearing up for its 11th year.

The Student Stride for Education will be held Saturday, May 17, at Fishback Stadium at Washougal High School.

The day starts at 8 a.m. with the 5K run/walk, which is open to the public. It is followed by grade level races and ends with the Dash, a quarter-mile race for kids in preschool and younger.

According to organizers, the community event promotes fitness and learning, with sponsorship dollars going directly to the classroom.

“So much of the community gets involved in this awesome fundraiser for our schools,” said Jennifer Spring, who was recently named the Stride’s new 5K director, succeeding longtime WSF supporter Julie Down. “Local businesses sponsorship provides the real fundraising power. But they go beyond just writing a check and give of their resources, talents and man-power.”

Discovery Dental has been a major sponsor of the event for several years. Dentists and avid runners Drs. Dave Stinchfield and Tom Stinchfield will be competing in the second “Beat the Docs” challenge. Running in the 5K with giant targets printed on the back of their shirts, anyone who can make it to the finish line before them receives a prize.

“Our passion for physical fitness and running, combined with our passion for our community, education and children, compelled us to throw our full support towards the annual WSF Stride,” Dave Stinchfield said. “We hope to see as many of our community members as possible out there, supporting the education of our youth and future leaders.”

Other sponsors this year include Waste Connections, Columbia Credit Union, Exterior Wood, Inc., Glory Days Trophies and Sports, Parr Lumber, Sodexo and the Washougal School District.

The event registration fee is $10 per person, which includes a T-shirt, race-day medal and finish line refreshments. Pre-registration closes on Monday, May 12. After that, participants can only register on race day. The DASH is free and no registration is required.

Proceeds from sponsorships benefits the Washougal Schools Foundation, which offers classroom grants in the fall and spring for projects up to $1,000 to teachers, staff, students, or community members. Mini-grants are offered throughout the year as well.

In 2013, the Stride included 550 participants and raised more than $18,000.

The event was founded 11 years ago by Julie Down and Rene Carroll.