Thousands Run Virtually in Seaside School Half Marathon & 5K Raising $300,000
March 12, 2021 by SoWal Staff
Nearly 1,700 runners participated in the 19th Annual Seaside School Virtual Half Marathon and 5K race from Sunday, February 14th to Sunday, February 28th, 2021. Ranging in ages from two to 82 years-old, participants represented 37 states and various countries including Spain, the United Kingdom and Canada.
All funds raised from the race benefit the Seaside School Foundation, which supports the operating budget for the Seaside Neighborhood School and Seacoast Collegiate High School. The Seaside School is a tuition-free, public charter school comprised of two schools serving students in Walton County. This year the volunteers raised proceeds totaling more than $300,000, despite the race being virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.
“Along with many other organizations, we have experienced one of our most challenging years to date with fundraising for the Seaside School Foundation,” said Teresa Horton, Executive Director of the Seaside School Foundation. “But I’m so proud of our volunteers and participants. They rose to the occasion and exceeded all of our expectations with unprecedented levels of support from our community at large!”
In sponsorships alone, Seaside School Foundation secured $163,500 in support with 73 local and regional businesses sponsoring this year’s virtual race. Targeted sponsors included Vera Bradley, South Walton Florida, Bud & Alley’s, Corcoran Reverie, Fisher’s Flowers, Forty-Five Central Wine and Sushi Bar, Porath & Associates, P.A, Scenic Sotheby’s International Realty, Scheduling Institute, St. Joe Community Foundation, VESKCO, and Barker Williams Attorneys at Law.
Traditionally the race puts on the lively Taste of the Race party which features local restaurants. Due to the pandemic, event organizers tweaked its format this year to a local restaurant-support concept. The program encouraged locals and visitors to dine in, take out, or purchase gift cards from the 28 participating restaurants. A special thank you to Silver Sands Premium Outlets and Buffalo Rock for headline sponsoring the inaugural Grub for Good initiative.
“We are so thankful for Grub to Good and the Seaside School Foundation’s efforts to support local restaurants this year,” said Shanda Williams, owner of 30AGrub2Go. “We had many more delivery orders during the promotion and we are thrilled to give back to local education. It was a win-win for education and local businesses for sure.”
The Seaside School Virtual Silent Auction was the highlight of the race fundraising efforts featuring more than 200 items ranging from vacations and jewelry to local artists and signed sports memorabilia. The virtual auction surpassed last year’s numbers and raised a total of $70,000 for the Seaside School Foundation.
“We were shocked and grateful at the level of enthusiasm surrounding this year’s Seaside School Virtual Silent Auction,” said Christine Glavine who served as co-chairman of the silent auction committee. “It was truly a group effort to successfully execute this auction. From business donations near and far to the volunteers who coordinated every detail, to the community who bid on every item to benefit education efforts—it is just amazing we were able to go above and beyond despite the challenges!”
Dates and registration information for the 2022 events will be available soon at www.runseasidefl.com.