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‘Bullis Gives Back’ 5K/2.5K Fun-Run Will Benefit Charities

Course adjusts to school’s new acreage.

Board members from Stepping Stones Shelter accept a check for $23,000 from race co-chairs Nikki De Pandi, Roz Tavel and Debbie Friedlander.

Board members from Stepping Stones Shelter accept a check for $23,000 from race co-chairs Nikki De Pandi, Roz Tavel and Debbie Friedlander.

— The “Bulllis Gives Back” 4th annual 5K/2.5K Fun Run will have a new look this year. The course will incorporate Bullis’ recently purchased acreage — and the pre-race will include a greater focus on health and exercise. Last year, more than 400 students, faculty and community members ran the distance — and the organizers are expecting more than 500 to take off when the starting gun sounds this year.

Proceeds of the race will be donated to Stepping Stones Shelter in Rockville, to the local Habitat for Humanity, and to the Bullis School’s Student Activity Funds for Education (S.A.F.E.) which provides text books and activities for students in need. Bullis students regularly volunteer at both Stepping Stones Shelter and Habitat for Humanity, but this year the race has a special connection to the charities. “The entire class of Bullis seniors will participate in the race and then all will leave immediately after the race to build and repair homes for Habitat for Humanity,” said Co-chair Nikki DePandi. Many are serving in the D.C. area with the local chapter; one group is going to West Virginia and another group to Guatemala. The donations will support the local chapter.

The pre-race will include a Zumba warm-up by motivational speaker Lance Claysmile Smith, pilates stretches by Finally Fit Studio, and fitness evaluations by Fitness First. The 5K course will wind through the Bullis campus and the new 26-acre tract. Families will enjoy the 2.5 Fun Run/Walk, and children aged 5 and under will have an opportunity to participate in a 400 meter fun-run and games led by Bullis students. This family event will include post-race food, music and a raffle which includes an IPad 3 as the grand prize. Julie Wright and Tucker Barnes of FOX5NEWS will be the Race Emcees. Carson’s MIX 107.3 is also a race promoter.

To register for the “Bullis Gives Back” 5K or 2.5 mile walk, go to www.bullisgivesback.org. On-line pre-race registration closes on Friday, May 18 at midnight. The minimum donation for a participant is $25. Sponsorships are available and donations of any amount and donations in-kind are welcomed. Race check-in, packet and t-shirt pick-up will take place at 8:30 a.m. on May 20 at the Bullis Stadium.

The free 400m Fun Run will take place at 9:30 a.m., the pre-race warm-up at 9:45 a.m. and the 5K race at 10 a.m. with the 2.5K walk starting at 10:05 a.m. Race awards and the raffle drawing are at 10:45 AM. Please note that the 5K run and the 2.5K walk will take place on the Bullis School cross-country course which is not suitable for pets, strollers or wheelchairs.

Some of the major sponsors of the event are DARCARS, Progressive Spinal, The Halle Companies, First Potomac Realty Trust, Potomac Pizza and Mama Lucia, which has pledged to give the first 400 runners who register a $10 dining gift card. Many other businesses have agreed to help sponsor the race, including Whole Foods, Coldwell Banker and Flagship Car Wash.

Event co-chairs DePandi, Roslyn Tavel and Debbie Friedlander are hoping to raise even more than the $26,000 netted last year. “Every year our goal is to make the race bigger — and better for our charities,” said Depandi.