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Annual Strides for Education 5K Run raises over $43,000

By Staff | Feb 19, 2020

The Foundation for Lee County Public Schools held its 9th Annual Strides for Education 5K Run on Feb. 1. Hosted at Florida SouthWestern State College’s Lee Campus, the event raised money for the foundation’s Take Stock in Children program.

One thousand two hundred business leaders, community partners, teachers and local runners participated in the race this year. Over $43,000 was raised, breaking all previous records. All proceeds will go toward college tuition scholarships for students who graduate from program.

Schools and businesses throughout Lee County were challenged to create the largest team by creating a friendly competition. This year’s winners are as follows:

– School Challenge: Team Heights (Heights Elementary)

– Corporate Challenge: Edison National Bank/Bank of the Islands

– Community Partner: Miles in Memory of Erik Babatz

“The Strides for Education 5K has truly become a community event raising funds to help some very deserving students attain a college education,” foundation President Marshall T. Bower said. “Students, mentors, business leaders and educators enjoy the beautiful outdoors at FSW state college’s campus and the community as a whole is the winner.”

Take Stock in Children was established in 1995 as a statewide scholarship program that provides an opportunity for deserving low-income youth to escape the cycle of poverty through education. The foundation administers the program in Lee County. Students enter the program in sixth or ninth grade and commit to remaining crime- and drug-free, maintaining a 2.5 GPA or higher, and meeting with a mentor regularly. Having kept their commitment, students are awarded a four-year college tuition scholarship upon graduation from high school.