MEF Madison 5K Returns May 7th


Lisa Moro

Sawyer Tadano, Madison High School Senior and Varsity Track Athlete gears up for the upcoming MEF Madison 5K and Middlebury College in the fall

Julia Prout, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Runners rejoice! The 14th annual Madison Education Foundation’s 5K will be held on Sunday May 7th at 10am at the high school. The course used to be on just the high school property but has since 2006 evolved to include streets around town. The run features about 500 registered participants, but anyone of any age can join! Even though the race is a very relaxed and non-competitive atmosphere, the first three female and first three male finishers, as well as winners in different age categories. Ther is also Kid Fun Runs for children under the age of 10. The races for those are either a 100m dash, ¼ mile, or the mile. For those races there are no winners and every participant is awarded a ribbon and ice cream.

The Madison Education Foundation (MEF) has been hosting these 5Ks since May 2004, following the creation of their foundation in March 2003. According to MEF members, the early fundraising was request for support via letters, however, it was understood that the foundation needed direct donations, and that an easy way of receiving these donations is through an annual event. Multiple ideas were exchanged before the 5K was chosen. MEF member Clare Sievers explained, “They [prior members] liked the idea of an event that would appeal to people throughout our community coming together in support of our schools. And it was different than all the other school fundraisers.” Madison Dodger Online was also told that the first president Donna Dughi really spearheaded this event and was a driving force for it. Like most events, the 5K started out small and has since grown to the size it is today.

The MEF has funded over 300 teacher-created grants, totaling over $1.1 million at all five Madison public schools since 2003. Most notably, the MEL has funded new pottery wheels for Mrs. St. Jacques’ ceramics classes, Project Terrapin, which allowed high school students to observe turtles from the time they are hatched until their release. The foundation also funds multiple cross-curricular projects that brings together students from all art and video classes to create multi-dimensional pieces of art to fill the unused phone booths in the lobby.

Senior runner and captain of the track and cross country teams is beyond excited to race this year, “[the 5K] is a fun event and I’m glad to have run in it and look forward to running more in the future”. Sawyer will run with multiple other staff members from the public schools. Teachers from schools run in groups and even guidance counselor Mr. Levine runs in the annual race.

Still wanna help out with the race but don’t want to run? Every aspect of the race is handled by volunteers. Each year the MEF has over 40 adult volunteers dedicate their time to making the event a success.  In addition, at least 20 MHS student volunteers Sign-up at the Volunteer Fair to help on race day. We are also grateful to the many corporate sponsors who support the race.  Every 5K sponsor dollar is applied to educational-enrichment grants across all Madison public schools.

If you’re interested in serving as a volunteer contact the MEF at [email protected].