By Communications Specialist, Grades 9-12, Maegan Azpiazu
In partnership with Special Olympics Florida, Gulliver hosted the Special Olympics Sponsor an Athlete 5K Run/Walk on April 15. Participants raised more than $56,000 to support the 40 athletes from Miami-Dade County who will be representing Team Florida at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle in July.
This year's race saw record participation, with 427 runners crossing the finish line at Gulliver Prep's Sean Taylor Memorial Field – including 130 members of the Gulliver Raiders race team. Some 100 volunteers were on hand to help make the event a success, including approximately 40 Gulliver students. More than 25 Gulliver faculty members took part.
"Special Olympics Florida is such a valued community partner for all of us," said Head of School Frank Steel. "So much of what they stand for as an organization represents the values Gulliver seeks to instill in our students, including respect, inclusivity and a strong sense of character."
Gulliver parent Doug Kraft P '18, '20, '21, a Pinecrest Village councilman, was the guest speaker for this year's
Run/Walk, and UFC Gym led a pre-race warm up. The family-friendly event's "Olympic Village" featured a live DJ, face painting, vendors, "Breakfast Mania" – a have-it-your-way pancake breakfast catered by Johnson & Wales University, Krispy Kreme Donuts and Einstein Bros. Bagels – and much more.
During the awards ceremony, the CEO and president of Special Olympics Florida, Sherry Wheelock, presented event Miller Drive Campus Principal Melissa Sullivan with a State Award for Distinguished Service, and thanked Gulliver for its continuous support of the Run/Walk. Sullivan has been co-chairing the event for nine years.