PANAMA – The Class of 2024 of Panama Central School hosts a 5K color fundraiser on Memorial Day. A portion of the money will go to the Veterans Organization.
The class had organized previous fundraisers in color and decided to do this one associated with Memorial Day. Planning such events in the past was easy, said Helen Keefe, one of the class counsellors, especially because she knew the community enjoyed participating in fun sporting activities.
“I first started doing color runs as a fundraiser at Falconer when I was head of the football boosters there,” Keefe said. “The events went so well I actually ran another color race for fundraisers when I advised a group while teaching in Salamanca. This is the third color race for the Panama class of 2024 and the kids just love doing this event. They are experts at doing it now and it is something Very smooth as they can do it themselves at this point.”
In addition, Keefe said students always enjoy spraying color on friends and family members while they run. They also learn to organize and how to work with others while preparing for an event. The NCOs organizing the event are Corinne Hovey, Caroline Apthorpe, Sarah Harvey, Brandon Keefe, and Lauren Gibbs.
For the current color run, the class includes sponsors from the wider community, making it a little different from previous events.
“We have golden sponsors and silver sponsors,” said the class’s other advisor, Dave Baker. “We’ve had members of the community become sponsors. Our gold sponsors are Panama Rocks and J. Edwards Insurance. Our silver sponsors are the Panama Auto Center, Catarogos County Bank, Whittier Apple Farm and Northridge Services.”
A portion of the donations raised from the event will go to the Buffalo Department of Veterans Affairs.
“It’s a non-profit foundation that supports veterans for life,” Brandon said how. “They help equip veterans to get jobs and support themselves.”
Specifically, the donations will go to Disabled American Veterans, an organization that helps veterans file compensation and pension claims through the VA, along with helping them find jobs.
For the class, a lot of work went into organizing the event, Corinne Hovey said.
“Miss. Keefe made sure we got in touch with the companies,” Hovey said. “We put a lot of work into making sure that the event will be active for the entire community. It also connects to another specific event in the community, the Memorial Day Parade, which is also very special for the community.”
On the day of the parade, they signed up for the color run—which the class called “Red, White and Blue Fun Race” It starts at 8:30 am on School Street, next to the school. The race itself starts at 9 am. Registration is also available online or by scanning a QR code located on posters made by the class. It’s $30 per person and can also be registered or paid for by seeing any NCO or counselor. Each participant also gets a T-shirt and a color pack.
Harvey said the class plans to hold more events.
“It’s a good way to meet,” Harvey said. “It’s fun and it raises money for a good cause. We also choose a different charity to donate to each year.”
For Lauren Gibbs, the thing she’s most looking forward to at the event is seeing the class’ work come to fruition.
“We’ll be able to see the work we put into this together,” Gibbs said. “I also look forward to being able to support the community and Buffalo VA.”
For those who would like to donate but are unable to get to the event, they can also send a check to the school to go towards the class funds.
“Not only can you run in color, but you can also walk or ride your bike,” Keefe said. “This is a great way to support your community while having fun and staying fit. In any case, there is usually a good reason to support the event and it is good to help others while having a little fun and adventure at the same time.”