Spirit Of Giving’s Inaugural Community Spirit Race Benefited 26 Nonprofits

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Staff report

Runners and walkers gathered at  Florida Atlantic University stadium to show their support for 26 local nonprofit groups during the Spirit of Giving Network’s inaugural Community Spirit Race.

The family friendly event featured a certified and chip-timed 5K, 1-mile run and Boca Raton Firefighter and Paramedic Benevolent uniformed firefighters guided “Community Heroes Fun Run” for kids.

A healthy breakfast served by the Fit Foodz Café and races were followed by awards ceremony, a Kids Zone of family activities and a nonprofit/vendor expo promoting health and safety.

Opening ceremonies featured 2018 Cheribundi Boca Raton Bowl Idol Winner Adriana Foster singing the National Anthem and welcomes from Boca Raton Mayor Scott Singer, Palm Beach County Commissioner Robert Weinroth, Boca Raton City Council Member Andrew Thomson and Presenting Sponsor Comerica.

Early morning inspiration was provided by Barb Schmidt of Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life who founded Spirit of Giving over 10 years ago, followed by a crowd-pleasing runner/walker warm-up session by Orangetheory professional trainers.

The first-time event brought together nonprofits, businesses and individuals for an opportunity for nonprofits to raise awareness and much-needed funds to support their missions without having to individually shoulder the costs and organize the logistics.

This “cooperative” event was all-encompassing, fun and efficient so that the participating nonprofits and their supporters need only focus on raising funds.

“We are so pleased with the enthusiastic nonprofit response and sponsor support for this first-time collaboration of more than two dozen nonprofits that do not have the resources to organize, promote and staff their own 5K fundraisers,” said Spirit of Giving Executive Director Sue Diener. “We already have nonprofits planning to return for next year’s event and new ones interested in recruiting teams as well.”

The inaugural event benefited: American Association of Caregiving Youth, APT Kids, Best Foot Forward, Boca Raton Firefighter & Paramedic Benevolent, Boca Raton Police Athletic League, Boys & Girls Club of Palm Beach County, BPAN Warriors, Brain Bowl, CROS Ministries, Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Girls on the Run, Impact 100, Junior Achievement of South Florida, Junior League of Boca Raton, Kidsafe Foundation, League of Ribbons, MECE Preschool and Kindergarten, Operation 120, Rotary Club Downtown Boca Raton, Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, Speak Up for Kids, Special Spaces Boca Raton, Unicorn Children’s Foundation, United Community Options, and Youth Activity Center.

“It was exciting to be a driver for this inaugural event supported by Boca’s business, health and fitness organizations and nonprofits; the collaboration empowers and enriches our community,” said Patricia Nobles, Vice President and Florida Market President for Comerica, the Community Spirit Race presenting sponsor. “We were pleased to bring out our own ‘Comerica Cares’ team of employees to participate in addition to our financial support.”

Spirit of Giving Network is a collaborative, nonprofit organization with a focus on children and families in South Palm Beach County. It has been leader in researching and implementing best practices that educate and build capacity to strengthen its community as a whole for over 15 years. Its mission is to create alliances with nonprofit organizations by sharing resources and providing education to strengthen and unify to bring vibrancy to communities. With more than 60 nonprofit member organizations meeting on a monthly basis with a shared goal of streamlining the delivery of services to the community by working collaboratively to solve issues and improve operations through internal and external partnerships.