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St. Andrew Catholic School inaugural 5k to raise money for new playground

By Staff | Oct 5, 2017

A weekend event aims to help St. Andrew Catholic School raise money for a new playground.

The St. Andrew Catholic School First Annual 5K will take place Saturday at 7:30 a.m. at Jim Jeffers Park, with registration open at 6:30 a.m. Advance registration is still available today for a discount.

“The playground needs to be built completely from the ground up,” Shelley Cudnik, co-chair of the St. Andrew Playground Committee with Kirsten Engel, said. “It’s the original playground structure.”

She explained that the 25-year-old structure probably has about five years left in it.

“It’s getting to where we know it’s not going to last much longer, so we’re trying to be proactive,” Cudnik said.

The 5K registration fee is $35 day of for all ages.

Advance registration is $30 for adults and $20 for children 17 and under.

To register in advance, pick up an application at the school or stop by The Run Shoppe, at 1407 Cape Coral Parkway E. Runners – and walkers – can also sign up online via the site active.com .

“It’s a great course, it’s flat and easy,” she said. “It’s a nice relaxing run.”

Organizers had planned to hold the 5K at Jaycee Park, but it is still damaged from Hurricane Irma.

“Jim Jeffers Park is, obviously, a totally different park than the layout was going to be at Jaycee Park,” Cudnik said. “It’s a much bigger park.”

Trophies will be given out to the overall male and female, as well as to the overall masters, grand masters and senior grand masters. Medals will be awarded to the top three finishers in 15 age groups.

“It’s a qualifying race, so they will be chipped. For the serious runners,” she said.

“We definitely wanted to put on an official 5K,” Cudnik added.

Participants will be provided with bagels, bananas, water, power drinks and such afterward.

“Each runner will get a Dri Fit T-shirt,” she said. “They’re really nice shirts.”

In total, the school is aiming to raise $200,000 for the new playground. According to Cudnik, the committee began its fund-raising efforts about a year ago and has raised about $85,000 so far.

“We’re excited to be at the near-halfway point,” she said.

Cudnik noted that the structure will be at the school, but it will be open to the public.

“It’s a playground for our school, but also for our community,” she said.

The new structure will not be a “normal” playground.

“It’s going to be a workout playground – things kids can actually use their muscles for,” she said. “Like we want to have a mini-rock wall.”

There will be more shade, and the equipment will appeal to a wide range of ages.

“It’s going to be a playground from anywhere from kindergarten through eighth grade,” Cudnik said. “It will have stationary basketball hoops – it’s going to be a very diversified playground.”

As for this weekend, organizers are hoping for clear skies.

“We will be there, rain or shine,” she said.

Cudnik encouraged people to register.

“Come run, come walk and enjoy your time,” she said.

For more information about the 5K, contact Cudnik at 440-382-7245.

Jim Jeffers Park is at 2817 S.W. Third Lane.