Thanks for Giving 5K and Turkey Trot to raise funds for middle school sports

By TAYLOR MURCHISON-GALLAGHER

STAFF WRITER

On Saturday, Nov. 9, the Middle School of Plainville community will be trotting through town by participating in the Thanks for Giving 5K and Turkey Trot kids’ one-mile fun run to raise money to support spring sports at MSP.

Middle school sports were cut from the school budget after a board of education budget was voted down by voters during the referendum. When a revised budget was passed in May, it resulted in a $100,000 reduction, which led to the cutting of spring sports at the middle school.

“The reason for doing spring [sports] was to give us an opportunity to work the families…in collaboration with Chris Farrell, our athletics director, to look into ways of doing things like a fundraiser or a community event that brings together the community around supporting our kids, supporting athletics and bringing it back,” said Steven LePage, superintendent of Plainville Community Schools.

LePage explained that the total cost of bringing back spring sports is $12,000, but the collaborative isn’t expecting to raise the total cost this weekend. In fact, the superintendent is anticipating raising roughly $5,000 during the Thanks for Giving and Turkey Trot races, and hopes to fund the remaining costs through possible realized savings. But, that doesn’t mean the group isn’t working on other fundraising opportunities to supplement the cost of spring sports.

During the Oct. 28 town council meeting, councilor Katherine Pugliese said that the town could see an increase in the education cost sharing (ECS) grant and that those funds could be allocated to supporting spring sports. But the school board was tasked with hiring an additional kindergarten teacher in mid-August, and LePage said that unanticipated and unbudgeted cost of approximately $50,000 could be where some of those funds are directed.

As of Wednesday, Oct. 30, the 5K had received $3,000 in sponsorship, and about 115 people had signed up to run. Sponsors include Torchlight Graphics of Plainville, who donated the first 100 race t-shirts for free, and each additional shirt for only $3. Mark Koss and the Great American Donut—who operates about 50 Dunkin Donuts—will be supplying coffee, hot chocolate, and munchkins. Crystal Rock donated water for the event, and Highland Park Market of Farmington donated race day snacks; and more.

Race day registration will start at 8:30 a.m. at the Middle School of Plainville, 150 Northwest Dr., and the race is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. In the event of rain, rain date will be Sunday, Nov. 10.

Medals will be presented to all top three finishers in each age group, and special prizes will be presented to the top female under 18, the top female over 18, the top male under 18, and the top male over 18 years of age.

To comment on this story or to contact staff writer Taylor Murchison-Gallagher, email her at TMurchison@PlainvilleObserver.com.