March 10, 2012
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -
The ReadBAMARead foundation held its first 10K race and 1-Mile Fun Run Saturday morning with more than 200 men, women and children taking part in the races that started and finished at Coleman Coliseum.
ReadBAMARead was founded by assistant gymnastics coach Dana Duckworth and Donna Benjamin to help raise money to restock the libraries of the schools lost to last April's tornadoes once those schools are rebuilt.
"Today was amazing and we are so proud of everything that we've accomplished so far and are thankful to everyone who helped make all this possible," Duckworth said. "None of this would have been possible without sponsors, volunteers and runners. The entire board of directors from ReadBAMARead sends their gratitude. This was an amazing and valuable learning experience and it was worth every late night, every planning meeting and every opportunity to ask the community to be involved."
The races held Saturday came on the heels of Alabama gymnastics' Tornado Relief held Friday, March 9 against Missouri. Before the meet got underway, Tuscaloosa Toyota and Tuscaloosa Motor Sales USA presented ReadBAMARead with checks totaling $22,400.
Several area elementary schools chose teams of six students to represent their school during Saturday's events. The fastest team won a $25 Yogurt Mountain gift card for each member of the team. Rock Quarry Elementary had the winning team followed by Verner and Alberta Elementary. Other schools that had teams in the 1-Mile Fun Run included Cottondale, University Place, Maxwell and Taylorville.
During the weeks leading up to the races several elementary schools collected their spare change for ReadBAMARead. The school that raised the most won a $1000 gift from Mackin Educational Services to buy library books for their own library. The elementary schools also had a chance to win a visit by children's author Allison Stoutland from Inch by Inch Books by having the most entries in the race. Verner Elementary won both contests.
"One of the things that really stands out about today is that there are so many children here today making a difference for kids their own age," Duckworth said. "It is truly a case of children helping children."
Duckworth-Morris Real Estate, an 80-book level sponsor, won the award for the most number of participants in the 1-Mile Fun Run.
For more on the foundation, visit ReadBAMARead.org.