TEMPLETON — The Benefit Fun Run and Family Day for the local Lighthouse nonprofit foundation, established to help fight youth drug and alcohol addiction, was held June 1 in the vineyards outside of Templeton.
Expected to be 78 degrees and sunny, runners — and walkers — of all ages and backgrounds came prepared before the day’s heat set in.
With nearly 300 participants overall there were 180 registered finishers for the main event, the 5k race around the Pomar Junction Vineyard and Winery property.
Currently, in the process of changing over to the Fableist Wine Co., the venue sent racers through a figure eight tour of the vines, with a leg up rolling hills to the south to add distance. A half-mile race for kids and a 100-meter dash were also included.
Entrants this year included teams working together to raise funds for the event and donning matching T-shirts, some rallying for a local political candidate, and some rallying as an extended family. The Fun Run aspect precluded many parents from exerting themselves at full speed, with running-strollers and toddlers in tow.
A long list of raffle prizes helped keep attendees engaged after a pancake and sausage breakfast from the Atascadero Kiwanis Club helped refuel runners, as well as coffee supplied from the Lighthouse's entrepreneurial partnership with the High School.
For youngsters, with any remaining energy left to burn, a bounce house was installed for the day along with tunes from the DJ, Guy Cooper.
Organizers estimated the event raised $24,000 for the Lighthouse Foundation cause this year, which would be up $4,000 from the results published in 2018, with more runners registering as well. Some on the Lighthouse board said they believed the total raised to be higher, closer to $27,000 as credit cards were being processed.
Lighthouse primarily engages with Atascadero Unified School District students that are in recovery, helping to provide an environment to support their sobriety.
That support includes mentorship, higher education scholarships and vocational training.
The website lighthouseatascadero.org is expected to host details for next year’s event as they become available.
The El Pomar venue is the second for Fableist, which plans to also maintain their current home in Tin City on the other side of Templeton. A representative for the company left the theoretical door open for the annual event to return in 2020.