AP NEWS

Flock the Forest raises funds

May 14, 2019

Adults and children alike participated in the Ludington High School Sports Boosters’ second annual Flock the Forest 5K and 1-mile fun run Saturday morning, and the event raised about $2,500 to support athletic programs.

“I think it went great,” said Scott Smith, the boosters’ club president. “We had great sponsorship, great volunteers and a good turnout — that’s the key to a race.”

Flock the Forest is the boosters’ second biggest fundraiser each year, behind the largest event — the Cash Bash raffle, he said.

The boosters raise money to help athletics programs at the Ludington High School that the school’s general fund doesn’t support, Smith said. A recent large purchase the organization assisted with was buying new starting blocks for the swimming pool.

The 5K, which included running trails in the Ludington School Forest, had 28 participants this year; and the 1-mile race, which went around the school buildings, had seven runners. The race participants all received medals and T-shirts for completing their runs.

Jordan Slate finished the 5K with the fastest time — 19 minutes, 29 seconds — followed by Nick Wilkinson, with a time of 20:50, and Edward Chapman completed the run in third with a time of 20:53.

The boy who completed the 1-mile run first was Gavin Smith at a time of 6:49, and the girl who finished the race the fastest was Vriseis Christensen, with a time of 12:30.

Smith thanked Riemer Eye Center and the other sponsors of the event, as well as the boosters’ board members — Tricia Postula, Lisa Cooney, Sarah Laird and Jeremy and Laura Holmes — and other volunteers who contributed.

Smith said there were twice as many runners in Flock the Forest last year, but many Ludington students didn’t participate in the races this time because they had to attend sporting events rescheduled for Saturday due to rainy weather earlier in the week.

Flock the Forest replaced the boosters’ longtime golf outing fundraiser, Smith said, adding that the boosters plan to host the races again next year.

“We stopped the golf outing simply because it took all day, and the kids — athletes and little kids — weren’t able to be involved because of the alcohol on the golf course,” Smith said. “So we went to this event. It’s been two years and ... we’re not looking back. The golf event served a great purpose for a long time, but this just becomes much more of a family affair.”