No one can say the 2023 BEST PTO Color Run went off without a hitch, but thanks to the pivots and flexibility of volunteers, coordinators, and participants, the Sept. 9 event was a big success.
The Color Run has been a community fundraising tradition since 2016. Throughout its history, the Color Run has raised more than $100,000 for BEST PTO, the parent and caregiver organization representing the Davis and Lane Elementary schools. All of the funds raised through BEST PTO go back into the schools. Recent examples include helping to purchase picnic tables and playground equipment, funding field trips, and bringing authors and enrichment activities to the schools.
More than 600 participants and nearly 100 volunteers participate in the event each year, the highlight of which is a short 1K or 3K family and kid-friendly “run” through the fields surrounding John Glenn Middle School while volunteers (many of whom are teachers and faculty at the elementary schools) cheer and spray clouds of colored powder. The Color Run includes a festive afternoon party with music, food, games, raffles, and more.
Mother Nature had a different plan for this year’s event. What started as a sunny Color Run morning on Saturday, Sept. 9, turned into an afternoon of rain, thunder, and lightning. With more than 680 people registered to participate in the event and 87 volunteers signed up to help, the committee and volunteers shifted from the outdoor party to inside JGMS. With sponsors and activities lining the halls and gymnasium, excited families still showed up, music was played, activities adjusted, faces painted, and a party materialized.
Jana Magnus, Color Run Committee member explained, “Despite Mother Nature’s attempts to rain on our parade, the committee was able to pull off an incredible event. At one point, the power went out during setup, but everyone involved remained optimistic and good-spirited.”
Other committee members for the event included Kim Bissias, Wendy Carlton, Vivian Chang, Coreen Garrett, Allison Melahouris, Margaret Root, Leslie Savoy, Sandra Swee, and Nikki Taylor.
Not only did the coordinators and volunteers shift plans and remain flexible and generous with their time, patience, and support throughout the day, but so did the sponsors. Many sponsors showed up despite the weather, lining the halls of JGMS with tables, smiling faces, swag, and activities. Bedford Family Lawyer, Carleton-Willard Village, Chestnut Dental, Engels & Volker Realty, Suzanne & Company, Emerson Dental, Callahan Karate, Bedford Pediatrics, Frank W. Thompson Masonic Lodge, Middlesex Savings Bank, Nick Squared Detailing, The Residence at Bedford, Taurus Health, Zoya Designs, Bedford TV, and Beth Sager Group, combined to contribute $13,500 in sponsorships to the Bedford elementary schools.
And at the end of the day, the colored powder didn’t go to waste. Magnus said, “Even though we weren’t able to pull off the actual run, teachers and administrators in attendance lined up at the close of the event to give everyone a colorful send-off!”