After successfully going online when the pandemic started last year, the Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation is poised for an even better outcome when the second annual PPIE Virtual Run for Education starts next month.
Participants can walk, hike, run, dance or do any number of fitness activities, and will use a smartphone app to track their miles during the event, which takes place from April 11-18.
"It's a good way to get the kids outside and exercise or getting your company team members outside for exercise," PPIE Executive Director Steve McCoy-Thompson told the Weekly.
The event app also lets users suggest routes around the city, whether for walking, running or biking.
Though less successful than its in-person predecessor in 2019, which had a turnout of several thousand runners, McCoy-Thompson said last year's event still did "remarkably well" and "raised probably a net revenue of about $75,000."
Contributions raised were used for funding "key supplemental staff such as reading specialists and support counselors and tech support, which has been really critical this year to help us with distance learning and everything."
This year, people can join school teams or form their own company teams. "We're sending e-postcards to all of our participants," McCoy-Thompson said, and participants who wear their run shirt -- which features a quarantine-themed version of PPIE's apple logo -- will get a 10% discount from all participating businesses during race week.
A special part of this year's race is the selfie booth that will be at different locations downtown during the event week. Residents can strike a pose in the booth near SideTrack Bar + Grill on April 17, or the next day (April 18) in front of the Pleasanton Museum on Main Street.
Donations raised this year will be used for more support counselors and librarians as the district returns to in-person learning, according to McCoy-Thompson.
PPIE is also eventually resuming in-person events. "Our intent is to certainly to go back live in person," McCoy-Thompson said, and added the run will take place at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in April 2022.
PPIE also "may well supplement with a virtual run so that everyone can participate" even after places reopen, he added, noting that last year they raised money from about half a dozen states around the U.S.
The second annual PPIE Virtual Run for Education takes place April 11-18. For more information, visit www.ppie.org.