ShamRock ‘n Run Fun

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Mrs. Stephenson, seen with arms in the air, danced at the ShamRock 'n Run to special guests, Ochoa Boyz.

Alexis Rodriguez, Layout Editor

Teeming with green spirit and all things St. Patty’s Day, Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District’s 3rd annual ShamRock ’n Run was in full swing early Sunday morning at the Yorba Regional Park. Runners from throughout the school district, ranging from elementary school children to adults, came together to support the R.E.A.C.H. Foundation and its noble cause. Directors, participants, and volunteers alike—all sharing a passion for community— enjoyed a fun-filled event that included with crafts, games, food, and special performances.

Vice President of R.E.A.C.H, Stephanie Vande Kappelle, described the foundation as “a non-profit education foundation for the Placentia Yorba Linda School District” that supports over 26,000 students. “What we do is we concentrate on arts, academics, and athletics,” she added.

The significance of Sunday’s event was a fundraiser for the foundation. “The ShamRock ’n Run proceeds go towards athletics. We sponsor the middle school track meet every year,” Stephanie claimed.

When asked exactly how the ShamRock ’n Run worked, she responded, ”We have a certified 5k course, which is awesome for serious runners. We have an overall first, second, and third place winner in the men’s and women’s division, and they win the grand prizes. Then, we have the finisher in the age category—first, second, and third gets a medal.” With such motivation and cause, it was no wonder that this year’s run was the success that it was in only its 3rd year. “This year we have over 1,050 runners. We had about 30 businesses in our expo and 14 restaurants in our Leprechaun Lounge that fed free food. The Kiwanis Club provided a free pancake breakfast for all the 2k runners. It’s just been an awesome community event!”

Yorba Linda High School student, Erlandette Ramirez(12), reported that she was a volunteer for the event, dedicating her time at 5:30 am! “I helped the volunteers check in. I did it last year, and I like that you get to meet new people, help the community, and see us all come together.”

Two more YLHS sophomores Luke Edwards and Liam Quidore dedicated their time before sunrise as volunteers at the ShamRock ’n Run as well. Sporting their festive, green volunteer shirts with pride, the boys had nothing but positive feedback about this local festivity. “I had to guard and make sure the runners went in the right direction. As my 2nd time volunteering here, I like to help people who come to run and to help motivate them,” Luke stated. As for Liam, he “had to direct people into their parking spots” and just enjoyed “getting out and helping people” where he would otherwise “be sitting at home doing nothing.”

The 2015 ShamRock ’n Run, with its bursting love for the March holiday, was a remarkable experience for all ages who attended and took part in the activities. Congratulations to all the runners on their feats, and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!