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Footsteps 5K April 20

Fundraiser supports Operation School Bell

Posted: April 11, 2008 6:48 p.m.
Updated: June 12, 2008 5:02 a.m.
The start of last year's 5K run. The start of last year's 5K run.
The start of last year's 5K run.
It's hard to imagine that our prosperous community has many families that live at or near the poverty level. Not every school child receives new clothes each fall and they start school at a pretty big disadvantage.

Assistance League of Santa Clarita has stepped in for the past 18 years and has provided an estimated 10,000 children with new clothing, shoes, backpacks and school supplies through their Operation School Bell Program.

On Sunday, April 20 Assistance League and title sponsor HR Textron will present the 18th annual Footsteps 5K Run/Walk and Kids 1K Fun Run in Newhall Park. Funds raised benefit Operation School Bell. This family-style event runs on the South Fork Trail, which is not a difficult course and is open to all levels of fitness.

Awards are three-deep in each division on the 5K run, which means there are 84 awards waiting to be claimed.

"There's something for everyone at our run." said Assistance League President Cheryl Carlson. "It's an upbeat atmosphere that's sure to put a smile on your face."

New this year will be an exciting opportunity for one participant.

Assistance League has added a "Shoe Toss" contest that will provide an opportunity to win $10,000. One lucky participant's name will be drawn after the race and they'll get to toss their own shoe through a target. If they make it, they will win $10,000. This is in addition to all the prizes that are usually given away at Assistance League's race.

"We want people to come and have fun, be fit and, in the process, help children in need," said Assistance League's Chris Tanner. Tanner has been a big part of the organization of Footsteps for several years.

For the past several years, a Kids 1K Fun Run has been a highlight of the day. Prior to the 8:15 a.m. start of the race, kids 10 and under can register to participate in the 1K race. Each child will receive their own medal upon crossing the finish line.

"Teaching children the value of philanthropy as well as fitness is so important in today's society" said Assistance League member Mel Johnson.

"Not to mention that it's just darn cute to watch these kids stretch, run and cross the finish line."

Registering prior to April 15 guarantees 5K participants a long sleeved T-shirt. You can register online at or log onto Assistance League's Web site at for more information. You can even show up on race day and register on the spot. Call 259-8019 for more details.

"This past fall, with the help of Kohl's, we clothed more than 1,100 children," Carlson also said. "They also received new Payless shoes, health kits, backpacks and school supplies. We'd like to thank our race sponsors and encourage everyone to come and support Operation School Bell. Your footsteps allow children to put their best foot forward."


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