About 88 students and community members gathered at Issaquah High School Saturday morning Dec. 13 to participate in the first-ever December Dash, a 5K run and walk benefitting the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank.
The Issaquah High School ASB dreamed the event up as part of the Fall Frenzy program, said Emily Carl, activities director for IHS. Fall Frenzy is a program to get students involved in the community.
“We really wanted to do something that would benefit others,” said Jeremiah Odom, junior class president. “It’s important to help others out, especially since it’s the holiday season. A lot of people have been struggling and this is a great time to give back to the community.”
Registration fees of $15 were submitted to the food bank, along with a $250 gift card donated by Costco. In total, the event brought in about $806. The ASB had a goal of $3,000, said junior Liza Romanow.
But student organizers were perfectly happy with what was raised.
“Just as much as we can give (the food bank) is great,” said junior Max Sugarman. “Everything helps.”
The 5K dash began at IHS at 9 a.m., heading west on 2nd Avenue Southeast, then continuing along East Sunset Way, Front Street sidewalks, and a trail behind IHS, then ended back at the school at approximately 10:30 a.m.
Temperatures for the day hovered in the upper 20s and runners were bundled in sweatshirts, gloves and scarves. A light rain fell before the dash began, and many participants waited in their cars during last-minute setup and registration.
The winter weather may have kept some away, but for Sammamish residents John and Anne Taussig, it had no bearing.
“There was no thought of staying in bed this morning,” John said. “Not in the Northwest. You’d be in bed all the time.”
The Taussigs, who have participated in various run/walks before, had considered walking in Seattle’s Jingle Bell Run on Dec. 14, but opted for the December Dash instead to stay close to home and support community members.
“Not only that, it’s good exercise and it’s great to help out the kids and see them involved in something like this,” John said. “We would have come even if it was just a school function, but if it can support the community, that’s even better.”
The majority of the participants were high school students, Odom said, but community turnout was still great.
“It’s fun to get the whole community involved, and there was a lot of student excitement about (the run),” he said. “They even created a Facebook group for it.”
Carl agreed, and said the enthusiasm and high spirits of everyone involved made the event a success.
“I hope that we can do this again next year,” she said. “I think that it has the ability to grow into something even bigger and better.”