Run raises $6,000 for special needs students

Four years ago, Erica Smart noticed something was missing from her son’s Enumclaw special needs classroom – funding.

Budget reductions were cutting into the things the district could provide for special needs students – things like swimming, field trips equipment and computers.

Joined by her Enumclaw employer Firewall Capital Management, they organized a 5K run as a fundraiser.

“We wanted to make sure these kids have more than enough for their education,” Firewall’s Keonna Rainwater said.

This year’s Aug. 13 event raised $6,000, which was presented as a check to the Enumclaw School District Sept. 7.

“Six thousand dollars, it’s huge,” ESD Student Support Services Coordinator Steve Taylor said. “It’s huge.”

Bigger yet, since 2007, the 5K has raised $17,000 for special needs classrooms.

This year’s funds will be evenly distributed among the seven classrooms involved.

“It goes to the kids who need it the most,” ESD Support Services Director Aaron Stanton said. “Kids that have the highest needs.”

District leaders said the run is a visible, and very personal, approach to supporting kids.

The event is gaining popularity.

With the theme “Light of the World,” the event drew 108 runners and sponsorship from Mutual of Enumclaw, Firewall Capital Management, The Vine Christian Ministries, YarrowBay, Helac, Enumclaw Schools Foundation and many individuals in the community who made donations to participate in excess of the entry fee.

“It’s a fun event,” Firewall’s Heath Rainwater said. “We love doing it. We plan to keep it going.”

The group has already set a date for next year’s run – Aug. 11 at 9 a.m.