Portsmouth school hosts benefit 5K Friday night

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PORTSMOUTH — Like many Portsmouth residents, Kelly Kidd never knew much about the oasis of wooded trails behind the school her child attends — Melville Elementary School.

melvillemap4“I love trails and our neighbor told us about it,” Ms. Kidd said of Melville Park. “Last year we kind of walked it with the kids. I run through there, too. It’s really beautiful.”

On Friday, she hopes many others will be able to take in the splendor at Melville. Ms. Kidd and others have organized a 5K race/walk through the trails to raise money for the Melville Parent Teacher Group.

The event is set for Friday, June 13, at the school, 1351 West Main Road. A half-mile “Fun Run” for the kids starts at 6 p.m., with the 5K race setting off at 6:30 p.m. Both races start at the Melville School flag pole.

For the 5K, registration is $25 before Friday and $30 the day of the race. For the kids’ run, it’s $10 (free for Melville students who collect pledges). The organizers request than any child under 14 who wants to run the 5K do so with a parent.

Ms. Kidd has been a runner since the eighth grade, and competed for Penn State.

“It’s an opportunity for fund-raising and I love running, so I thought it would be a great thing to get the kids to do something physical,” she said.

Added another organizer with a child in the school, Jenny Swider, “It seemed like a great sway to combine resources available to us. This is a totally new initiative and we hope it will turn into an annual event.”

Proceeds raised will be directed toward enrichment programs. arts, classroom funds, field trips, family events and more, said Ms. Swider, who’s a member of the parent group along with Ms. Kidd. “We support the teachers, classroom funds, programs to enhance the overall educational experience,” she said.

The organizers are hoping at least 100 people turn out, Ms. Swider said. “We’ve actually had people register from Massachusetts,” she said. “We’re also hoping different community organizations will come and support us.”

The event has many sponsors behind it. Cub Scout Pack 1 will be there to volunteer, and the Aquidneck Land Trust will have a table. Members of the Melville Park Committee, who were glad to offer the trails for the event, will also turn out.

“Telling people about the race, I realized that so many people don’t know about it back there,” said Ms. Kidd. “I ran the trail and it was just amazing.”

For more information, visit www.melville5k.com.

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