St. Thomas hosts 5K race as part of outreach efforts

The race begins; start captured on a drone.

The race begins; start captured on a drone.

St. Thomas Episcopal Parish School recently announced the fundraising results of its annual 5K run. The race, taking more than 650 runners on a scenic route through Coral Gables, Pinecrest and Miami, raised approximately $30,500 with half going directly to Breakthrough Miami (a program that targets high potential, motivated students from under-resourced backgrounds and provides the tools necessary for them to graduate high school and go on to college).

“Breakthrough Miami truly appreciates the support it receives from this event,” said Elissa Vanaver, CEO of Breakthrough Miami. “The funds are significant to alleviate many of our operating expenses. But, more than this, the ability of our students to participate and engage brings them joy and an invaluable sense of being embraced. It’s clear that St. Thomas alumni love our kids.”

Breakthrough Miami, St. Thomas’ partner since the race’s conception five years ago, has received more than $75,000 total from the race since 2010.

“Breakthrough is an important and worthwhile partner for this special event,” said Linda Johnson, director of Advancement at St. Thomas and race organizer. “Breakthrough students are at many of our ‘feeder schools,’ including Carrollton, Palmer Trinity, Ransom, and, in the near future, Gulliver. It provides us an opportunity to support incredible kids in the community while staying connected with some of our alumni at each of the schools.”

The target audience of St. Thomas’ annual event is primarily its alumni. The alumni chairs for this year’s race included Olivia Bacardi, Nick Cobb, Henry Fernandez and Claire McDowell leading a committee of approximately 30 other alums.

“Children graduate from St. Thomas, but the race is a fantastic way for them to stay connected to the school that they love so much,” said Thomas N. Southard, interim head of school.

Sponsors included Windhaven Insurance, Tutorial Resources, Ashley Cusack Realty, Shubin & Bass, Boyne Capital Markets, Dade Physical Therapy, Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables and Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay, James Voglino, M.D., Mariani Orthodontics, Oceania Cruises, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Physicians to Children, Starbucks, Quirch Foods, JustAskBoo, Power Pizzeria, Pinecrest Premier Soccer, and Krispy Kreme.

“I am so proud of the outreach work of our school,” Southard concluded. “What a wonderful blessing it is to be a private school with a public purpose. We are fortunate to be able to show our students what it means to have a positive impact on others in our community.”


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