PPIE pivots during coronavirus with Virtual Race 2020 | News | PleasantonWeekly.com |


PPIE pivots during coronavirus with Virtual Race 2020

Remote experience will replace original Run for Education fundraiser

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With a statewide order in effect for Californians to shelter in their homes to stop the spread of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation (PPIE) has canceled its eighth annual Run for Education that was planned for next month -- sort of.

The organization is "disappointed" that the regular run won't happen as planned, but according to Executive Director Steve McCoy-Thompson, there's "a great opportunity for community building and support" with PPIE's new Virtual Race 2020.

Instead of a crowd of more than 3,000 gathering in-person like for last year's event, there's "a new plan in place" to transform the original April 19 run into a virtual race -- helping maintain both social distancing and a sense of community during a time when public events have been restricted.

From April 1-19, the Virtual Race "takes place where you are and when you want" by having participants track their fitness using a smartphone app. "And you don’t have to run anywhere if that’s not your thing," McCoy-Thompson said. Registrants may choose another activity if they wish including walking, swimming, dancing or yoga.

"Our goal is to collectively run/walk/dance/jump, etc. for 7,750 miles, which is the distance of a community grand circle tour from Pleasanton to Orlando, up to New York, back across the country to Seattle and back home again," McCoy-Thompson said. "It’s simple and we encourage you to get friends and family around the country to participate."

The event app also lets users create family or group teams, update their miles and upload photos.

Outdoor participation is allowed but registrants must maintain a six-foot social distance from individuals they are not quarantined with. Lots of sharing on social media using #PPIERace2020 is also highly encouraged to "make this tons of fun for everyone and help you recruit friends and family to participate."

With an eye toward the future and people getting back to things as usual, PPIE is also planning to host a back-to-school event in August with food, activities and an award ceremony where Virtual Race participants will be able to pick up their medal and race shirts. Date and details for that event have not yet been announced.

"Because we do not want cost to be a barrier for participation," McCoy-Thompson added that Virtual Race 2020 entry fees are lower than for last year's run -- just $10 for the Virtual Race or $20 for the Virtual Race and a race shirt. Both levels include a Run for Education medal and entry to the Back-to-School event.

"Although the focus of this event is no longer fundraising -- it’s "friend"raising -- we greatly appreciate any additional donations at the time of registration," he added. "By donating to PPIE's Virtual Race 2020, you are supporting key staff and programs which are needed to sustain our 15 public schools, 15,000 students and 9,400 school families."

Last year's Run for Education raised more than $115,000 used to support enrichment programs and other services and resources for PUSD schools.

The app for the race is Charity Footprints, which McCoy-Thompson said is in the process of finalizing right now, "but will be ready for download to mobile phones prior to the start of the Virtual Race on April 1."

Those already registered for the original Run for Education are asked to fill out this online form to let PPIE know whether they wish to switch their registration to Virtual Race 2020 or request a refund. The deadline to submit the form is 5 p.m. on March 22.

For more information, visit http://www.ppie.org.

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8 people like this
Posted by PaulN
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Mar 25, 2020 at 10:41 pm

This is an important event in many ways. As a direct result of this event the site technology specialist at the 3 middle schools are able to work over summer. This time is important for many reasons...one being the intake, cleaning, processing, and preparation of devices from graduating 8th graders for incoming 6th graders. Without this event and these funds not may this not be possible the families of these employees will be greatly impacted by this loss of income. Additionally, the money raised also allows these same employees to work 8 hours a day (only a 6 hour day and a 10 month work year is provided by union contract) during the school year. Among other things this money also supports Librarian hours.

4 people like this
Posted by Kelly French
a resident of Pleasanton Valley
on Mar 27, 2020 at 2:38 pm

I will post the link for PPIE's Virtual Race 2020 on Tuesday, March 31st. Charity Footprints is working hard to finish building out the platform for us.

7 people like this
Posted by Question for PPIE's President
a resident of Parkside
on Mar 29, 2020 at 3:41 pm

Hello Ms. French-We have not met but I want you to know I am very uncomfortable with PPIE spending (correct me if I am wrong) $5000 in favor of Measure M. I donate to PPIE through my race entrance fee, I often attend events, and my employer supports PPIE. I did not vote for Measure M, the newest Property Tax Bond, but I was angry to see my funds and others used for political purposes. There was no "No on Measure M" argument in my election packet, there were no yard signs against the measure and it still was unable to reach 55%. Why were precious funds from donations used to support a political campaign? Are you going to support the next school board candidate that agrees with Measure M too? I can tell you my employer did not like it either and they are considering not supporting PPIE in the future. Politics, even for school bonds, should be separate from PPIE. That is NOT why I have donated in the past. And to better understand the value of $5000, that is 10 "Honor Roll" family donations. Can you really risk that for PPIE's future?

1 person likes this
Posted by No On M
a resident of Birdland
on Mar 29, 2020 at 6:06 pm

I do not feel sorry for union members whose negotiated contract does not give them what they supposedly need.

Isn’t the whole point of being in a union to make sure workers represented get a living wage?

If you want or need more money, go ask your union. Don’t cry a river to get more money from me.

3 people like this
Posted by Pleasanton Parent
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Mar 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm

I think ppie has corrupted their mission by involving themselves with the measure m bond.

Sorry, my donations stop until I see a pure execution on purpose

2 people like this
Posted by Wilmer
a resident of Downtown
on Mar 30, 2020 at 5:17 am

PPIE money should not be used to eco economically support any movement on the part of the School Board to tax the citizens of Pleasanton with a Bond measure. Money we donate to PPIE should go directly and exclusively to classrooms. If PPIE leaders cannot help themselves from taking money that should go to only the classroom they should identify and announce in advance fund raising activities that will go to causes that do not go to direct classroom benefit.

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