The Hunter’s Green Elementary PTA is hosting a professionally chipped, photographed and timed 5K road race on Feb. 9, which is the school’s primary fund raiser for the year.

On  Saturday, February 9, the Hunter’s Green Elementary (HGE) Parent Teacher Association (PTA) will host a 5K run and 1-mile fun run starting at the school and winding through the Hunter’s Green neighborhood.

“It’s two weeks before Gasparilla, so we’re inviting everyone to participate as a great training run to get your groove for Gasparilla,” says  Emily Milam, HGE’s PTA president, who is one of the event organizers.

Having a chip-timed 5K race in New Tampa, which is open to everyone, is rare, says Milam.

Typically, she explains, these types of races can’t be held in our area because the City of Tampa won’t issue permits to close roads in New Tampa. The roads for the Hunter’s Green race are privately owned by the Hunter’s Green Community Association, which is partnering with the school to bring the race to its residents and the surrounding community.

The race will be professionally chipped, photographed and timed by FitNiche Events. Swag bags and t-shirts will be given to those who register, and medals and prizes will be awarded to winners.

The $35 race entry fee will go to support the school and also includes admission to the second part of the event — a music festival that will be held at Hunter’s Green’s Capt. Nathaniel Hunter Community Park for all residents and race participants from 4 p.m.-8 p.m.

The family-friendly music festival will feature three local bands — Celebrity Romance, Panic Fire featuring Gary Schutt and Chello Hollyday Band. There will be food trucks and bounce houses. While the music fest is being organized by the Community Association for residents of Hunter’s Green, everyone who runs in the 5K race that morning will be invited to come back for the music fest in the afternoon.

“It’s definitely a multi-faceted focus,” says Jenny Giraldo, the social director for the Hunter’s Green Community Association. “The music fest is a great time for the community to come together, take full advantage of our amenities and the wonderful park we’re fortunate to have, while enjoying the live entertainment.”

The Hunter’s Green 5K run and Music Fest will serve as the school’s primary fund raiser for the year. For the past two years, the PTA has hosted an extremely successful gala that raised about $30,000 each year. In addition, the school has held a “fit fest” that included a fun run the past two years.

This year, the PTA is replacing the gala with the expanded 5K run, hoping they can grow it to be as successful an event as the gala has been.

“The gala was great and does really well for us, but it’s an overwhelming amount of work,” says Milam. “We also wanted to move to something that’s really family friendly. Kids weren’t allowed at the gala.  This is a more of a family-targeted event, so your whole family can prepare for it together and run together, then participate in the music fest together.”

She says reaching out to the Hunter’s Green community and the New Tampa area is an important part of the plans, as well.

“It’s a new era in our school,” Milam says. “We’re trying to reach beyond the walls of our school to impact a lot of the neighborhoods around us and support the school where funding (is lacking).”

She says the PTA spends the majority of its funding to go to technology in the school, where the goal is to have a 1:1 ratio of every child having access to a laptop computer at his or her desk.

The PTA also funds supplemental support for music and art, which Milam says are areas that consistently get cut in the School District’s budget, plus school beautification and teacher support.

For more information or to register for the race, which includes admission for your family to the MusicFest, visit Registrations will be accepted up until the morning of the race.

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