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South Seas ‘Run for Reading’ event raises $10,000 for adult literacy

By Staff | Oct 29, 2009

Last Saturday and Sunday, South Seas Island Resort hosted their first annual “Run for Reading Weekend,” a 5k walk/run and aquathon, to benefit the Literacy Volunteers of Lee County, a nonprofit agency that has been providing free adult literacy programs with trained volunteers for 20 years.

“Our goal was to have a first event that was a classy and fun event for the participants, and to help us develop additional resources to support our free adult education programs in Lee County,” said Tess Murphy, LVLC Executive Director, noting that the event raised more than $10,000.

The presenting sponsor of the event was Internal Medicine Associates of Lee County, a multi-specialty medical practice that offers a variety of services.

More than 150 athletes and volunteers showed up for the weekend event.

While Captiva, Sanibel, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, North Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Estero, Naples and Marco Island were all well represented, the South Seas event saw participants from as far away as the United Kingdom and Germany.

Runners of all ages turned up to support the LCLV. Nine-year-old Daniel Stefanacci from Cape Coral was the youngest, while 84-year-old Robert Taylor of Oak Park, Ill. took the title as most mature participant.

Overall winners from Saturday’s 5k and Sunday’s aquathon included Stacia Taylor, Stacey Persinger of Fort Myers, Oscar Corredor of Cape Coral, John Biffar of Cape Coral, Kimberly Thomson of Bonita Springs, William Grunnah of Dallas, Texas, Laurie Jensen of Sanibel, Andreas Boehm of Cape Coral and George MacKnet of Naples.

“The take-away is that the run was a huge win from every angle,” said LVLC Board President Doug Harrison. “On top of the money we raised and the friends we made for the agency, we’ve established an excellent foundation for building the run into an annual legacy event.”

But it wasn’t just LVLC that benefitted from the Run for Reading weekend.

“We will be working with LVLC and our South Seas employees who need an English as a Second language program so the partnership [will] continue past this event. We are ready for next year to do it all again!” said Carolyn Hudson, South Seas Island Resort’s community relations and special events manager.

The resort’s managing director, Rick Hayduk, noted that, as of Monday, Oct. 26, LVLC had already signed up seven new tutors and taken two inquiries, furthering the organization’s goal of not only raising funds, but promoting awareness and recruiting new volunteers.

“The feedback from the event has been very positive and we’re about to begin discussion on the 2010 event,” Hayduk said.

To view the results from the Run for Reading Weekend, visit www.therunshoppe.com.