By Dawn M Chiossi
Pot of Gold. It brings to mind fanciful leprechauns and rainbows. It also makes people envision the idea of luck. There is nothing lucky regarding the idea of scholarships. For those who seek one, it takes hard work.
Now the Kinnelon Education Association is sponsoring their 9th Annual 5K Scholarship event entitled Pot of Gold to be held on April 28th. There’s something freeing about running, and spring is the perfect time to enjoy it. Getting the body moving, seeing the blooming spring weather, feeling the mind wander, there’s so much to like about running. When there’s a giving back element, an ordinary 5K can catapult itself into something extremely rewarding. Everyone can enjoy this community event getting together to walk or run and participate in this great cause. The time will be from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.
Located at 121 Kinnelon Road in Kinnelon, the 5K is being held in support of Kinnelon education. Registration ends on April 26th. Proceeds collected will benefit Kinnelon Education Scholarships for Kinnelon High School’s graduating seniors. Entry fees will be $25.00. For Kinnelon students and staff, the entry fee is only $15.00.
The route will begin on the Kinnelon High School grounds, will go through the borough roads, and end on the Kinnelon High School track. Additionally, there will be a Mile Fun Run beforehand at 8:15. The proceeds raised from this event additionally will go to a chosen charity, which has yet to be decided.
The Kinnelon Education Association is the official union for Kinnelon Public School’s educators and staff, dedicated to the education of all of their students.
For individuals and teams, this is a wonderful event for all. Be sure to come out in green to show support for both Kinnelon Seniors and Earth Day. Not for just Kinnelon residents, the Pot of Gold 5K is something that people in surrounding areas can join in, and officials are looking forward to it. According to Chairman Alana Van Der Sluys, in the past an impressive 200 to 300 people have attended the Pot of Gold 5K.
“Scholarship proceeds go to a senior that applies for the scholarship,” Van Der Sluys explains. “Ideally, this student has excelled academically but also has contributed meaningfully to the Kinnelon Community.”
Van Der Sluys, who has been with the Kinnelon Education Association with two years is excited regarding this 5K run and Scholarship event, hoping that is as successful as possible. “My hope is to give a scholarship as big as we can to a deserving senior, raise as much as possible for the charity that is chosen for the Fun Run, and to put on a fun event where all different types of people in the community can come together and have a great time,” she states.
Van Der Sluys relates that feedback for this event has been very positive and people of all ages have joined in for this worthwhile cause. “We have categories of winners from 14 to 80 which is really wonderful to see. We’ve seen people trying to beat their own times running, or even having a nice leisurely walk with their friends or their baby strollers,” she tells.
She is extremely grateful for the support of their sponsors. “I’m always amazed how generous the local businesses are,” she asserts. “Many of them are very willing to donate in some way. We’re especially thankful for the North Jersey Business Connections this year because 15 of their members donated, which ended up being a huge chunk of our scholarship this year. I think that everyone is thankful for the Kinnelon Education Association for putting on an event that brings together, highlights our most standout students, and promotes local businesses all while showing the community the strength and hard work of the teacher union.”
Van Der Sluys discloses that her favorite part of the whole event is giving out the medals to the top three winners in each age category and raffling off the gift cards from local businesses. “Everyone likes to win,” she quips.
“This is a wonderful event, something to bring the school and community together just as the weather is warming up,” she says. “It helps to remind us the importance of community, both by coming together to walk alongside each other on the day of the race and by showcasing the wonderful things our youth does to help their community flourish.”