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Run for the Rose Garden: 5K fundraiser ready to step off

By Staff | Feb 5, 2015

Runners and walkers can sign up now for the Third Annual Run for the Rose Garden 5K.

Hosted by the Rotary Club of Cape Coral, the fundraiser will take place at 7:30 a.m. at Cape Coral Rotary Park, with registration opening at 6 a.m. Proceeds from the event will help support community projects like Rotary Park, the Cape Coral Caring Center, Special Populations and local scholarships.

“It is a fundraiser for all the hard work the Rotary does throughout the year,” Erik Elsea, the event coordinator, said Thursday.

In 2014, the Rotary Club granted more than $48,000 in support of local initiates.

He added that the 5K helps to raise awareness of Rotary Park itself and the projects that the club oversees, as well as helps to promote a lifestyle of health and wellness in the community.

Last year, the fundraiser raised an estimated $3,300 to $3,400.

“It was over $3,000,” Elsea said. “There were well over 100 (participants).”

Organizers are expecting a bigger turnout this year.

“As more and more people find out about it and know about it, we get a better attendance,” he said.

The Rotary Club does not have an official fundraising goal for the 5K.

“Just to make the event bigger and better each year,” Elsea said.

A timed and scored race, participants start at the park.

“The race leaves from Rotary Park, goes down Rose Garden (Road) toward Tarpon Point (Marina) and turns around, then comes back and goes through a trail in the park,” he said.

“It ends coming through the park,” Elsea said. “It’s a very nice trail.”

He noted that the route is easy and suitable for beginners.

“Some people do walk the course, just to show support,” he said.

The first place, second place and third place finishers in several age categories will receive a medal, while the overall male, overall female, overall master and overall grandmaster will earn trophies.

“The overalls will get trophies,” Elsea said.

The Run Shoppe and 3D Racing will be timing the results.

Participants can register in advance for $20 up through Friday. The cost day of is $25.

“Everybody will get a tech shirt, with the logo and the sponsors,” he said.

Participants will also receive a goodie bag.

Drinks and snacks, such as fruit and bagels, will be available after the 5K.

“We are going to have some refreshments,” Elsea said.

Halfway through the race, there will be a refreshment stop set up.

People can sign up in advance online at: www.active.com or by stopping The Run Shoppe.

For more information, contact Elsea at (239) 405-4063 or erik@erikelsea.com.

According to organizers, Rotary Park is comprised of mostly 97 acres of preserved salt marsh land, excluding nine acres of upland that the environmental center, dog park and open areas occupy.

The 4,200-square-foot environmental center is used for gardening- and nature-related classes, exercise classes and summer camp and is home to the annual Burrowing Owl Festival and native plant sales.

The Rotary Club donates $10,000 each year to support Rotary Park.

Cape Coral Rotary Park is at 5505 Rose Garden Road.

The Run Shoppe is at 1407 E. Cape Coral Parkway.