Embrace Your Inner Geek 10k And 5k Races Helped By Many



Last Saturday (May 5), the Payson Association for Advanced Learners (PAAL), the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department and the Payson Unified School District (PUSD) held their first collaborative fund-raising event — the “Embrace Your Inner Geek 10K and 5K” races at Green Valley Park.

More than 80 people came out to participate and show their support for advanced learning opportunities for Payson students and their teachers. Workers dressed in the theme of the event, excitement was in the air and it was an extremely positive and fun community activity.

With very few exceptions, the races were run entirely by volunteers and sponsors. On behalf of the PAAL board, I would like to extend our gratitude to the following companies, organizations and individuals:

Title Sponsor Chili’s, Kevin Dick Investment Management Group, Payson Regional Medical Center, the Payson Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department, PUSD, the Payson Roundup, Payson Dealz, Charles M. Beier, DDS, PC Family Dentistry, Tonto Silkscreen & Embroidery, Gila Community College, Sears, Bob Lee & Son’s Tree Service, Printing by George, Sears, Pizza Factory, the Wild Brush and Michael Rose of Payson Sound. Thanks also go to Life & Rain Photography for taking race photos.

In addition, the Payson High School Student Government class and Marylyn and Joe Behrens covered our race water stations with great attitudes and encouragement along the courses. Safeway provided post-race refreshments. Linda Gibson, Gene Sampson, Bob Charameda, John Wakelin, Maria Wakelin and Pat Jackson helped with set-up, registration, finish line and take down. PAAL board members and school children in the Gifted and Talented program at the Rim Country Middle School and Payson High School, along with a few community members from Tonto Basin, rounded out the volunteer crew. Deb Rose and Janelle Blizzard from Parks and Recreation ran the show.

Last, but definitely not least, PAAL would like to thank two generous donors for their $500 contributions during the race.

The PAAL board looks forward to future collaborative events to further promote advanced learning opportunities in Payson and truly appreciates our community’s support. Thank you!

Mary McMullen

PAAL communications director


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