recently held its 6th Annual River 5K Race. More than 200 people registered for the event, which is the school's biggest fundraiser of the year to benefit its students.
The school's principal, Dr. Tania Dalley attributes the fundraiser's success to its unifying aspect within the community.
"It just brings a sense of camaraderie to the community. It's just a great event to raise funds for New York's most important cause — our children," said Dalley who was brimming with boundless enthusiasm that was contagious.
"I would love to run, but someone's got to steer the ship. I'll jog in place and cheer everyone on, and get the momentum going," she said
Dina Underwood, the vice president of the River Elementary School PTA spearheaded the event, and has been the dedicated director of the race every year since its inception.
"I was a runner at the time that I got involved with the PTA. They were looking for new ideas for fundraisers," explained Underwood. "I just like the environment: Healthy, fun, family."
Runners were placed by age, gender and best time. The race was timed by Just Finish.
It was sponsored by several local businesses and organizations such as , Before & After Construction, , Chili's, , the Patchogue Lions Club, and more.
Several raffle prizes were generously donated by volunteers and business owners.
"The raffles are just for runners, to keep them coming back every year. It's something to look forward to after their, hopefully, good time," said Co-President of the PTA Lisa Pringle.
A 1K fun run was featured prior to the race, in which close to 30 children eagerly took part. There were also special kid-friendly raffle items that included games, and gift certificates to and .
"So they get to have something too," said Pringle.
Anne Logan and Sharon Schellberg were two of River Elementary School's teachers participating in the event.
"We're teachers supporting our PTA. It's a great fundraiser; the kids have a great time.," Logan said as she was about to embark on her "walk running" expedition.
"We got so lucky with the weather, and we got the best turnout ever," said the tired, but pleased event coordinator. "Every year it grows and grows."
Check the for highlights from the race.