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It’s been two years since Stacey O’Connor brought the Color Run to town to benefit public schools. Now, Megin Kelly is helping the PTA go its own way. (Photo by Nathan Hughart/The Courier | Buy This Photo)
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Golf pro and Clintonville PTA President Megin Kelly is taking a swing at big changes for the North Haven PTA Road Race, the annual road race fundraiser. The Color Run fundraiser first came to town two years ago. Now it’s being rebranded for a more local flavor.
“We are branching away from that company, basically, to save money to do it internally within the community,” Megin says.
Color runs are hosted by The Color Run, LLC, which provides the bibs, the T-shirts, and online registration services for its road races as well as the packs of color that give the run its name (participants run through clouds of dye during the races). In exchange, the organization takes a portion of the money raised.
“We want to give the money that we’re saving back to the children of North Haven,” Megin says. “We decided this year, let’s just see what we can do.”
Now, the PTA and its sponsors are responsible for handling the logistics of the event. That’s tracking down everything from bathroom facilities to official race timing. Even the new logo started in town.
“Bob [Chancio], he really helped us spearhead the logo...bringing it back home,” Megin says.
The money will go to the arts and science programs supported by the PTA at all six public schools serving 3,200 students.
“It’s a big deal. It will touch a lot of people and involve the community and everyone who’s volunteering,” Megin says.
Without the backing of an established company, Megin says the process has presented new challenges.
“You always need volunteers and financial backing to run anything successfully,” she says. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s well worth it.”
Despite having to search for sponsors to cover the costs of the race, Megin says the process has brought the people involved closer together.
“All the PTA presidents and their committees have been working collaboratively to make this a great day for North Haven,” she says. “In the end, when you start something new, there’s more hands on deck. You get to know more people.
“We’re doing it again, we’re repeating a wonderful thing, but we’re making it more personalized to North Haven,” she says.
The road race will include a 5k and a one-mile race, and both be officially timed this year. That fact alone has already attracted the interest of out-of-town runners.
Plus, there will be food trucks and a DJ, to help make the event a success.
“New, this year, we’re doing a kids’ fun lap for ages 5 and under so that the little guys can feel involved as well if they’re not up for the one mile,” Megin says.
The road race kicks off on Sunday, April 7 from the middle school. Early registration ends Sunday, March 24, the last day to get a T-shirt. After that date, Megin says, the registration fee will increase.
The cost of registration includes a bib, a timing chip, and a performance T-shirt.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with the race can get in touch with Stacey O’Connor by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Megin has been involved with the PTA for seven years, ever since her kids entered the school system. She’s served as president for the last two. In particular, she’s proud of the afterschool enrichment program supported by the PTA.
“We have upwards of 8 to 10 classes that children can pick from after school that can range from soccer skills to learn the ukulele or how to be a video game creator,” she says. “Our staff at Clintonville is extraordinary.”
Now, Megin’s responsible for helping to find volunteers and sponsors for the road race, a skill she says came in part from her day job as a golf pro at Brooklawn Country Club in Fairfield, which will host the U.S. Senior Women’s Open in 2020.
“It’s personally very exciting to me because all of the ladies that played on the tour when I was a young girl that I looked up to...these are those women,” she says. “It will be really special to have them there.”
Soon, Megin will be deep in the prep work for the tournament, finding housing for the golfers, seating for the spectators, and marking the course properly.
“I love organizing events that are family based, community based, getting people involved,” Megin says.” There’s always something to do. There’s never a committee that’s full.”
Megin says the PTA is much the same way.
“The reason you’re at the school dance is to enjoy yourself but also to help out, to give back. Your children see that,” she says. “My husband [Bill] and I feel that way…We think it’s well worth it.”
North Haven PTA Road Race
The North Haven PTA Road Race is on Sunday, April 7. Check in begins at 9 a.m., followed by the Kids Fun Lap (ages 5 and under) at 9:45 a.m., the one-mile run at 10 a.m., and 5k run at 10:30 a.m. Registration is at lightboxreg.com. Search for “North Haven” in the search field.
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