LIGHTHOUSE Atascadero 5K Fun Run & Family Day raises money to support youth addiction counseling in schools

This May 30, you’re welcome to run, walk or race at the 8th annual, nonprofit, 5K Fun Run and Family Day benefiting Lighthouse, hosted by the Atascadero Greyhound Foundation.

Bring your family out to Pomar Junction and run or walk through the rolling vineyards. Following the 5K, there will be a half-mile race for kids and a 100-yard dash for ages six and under.

Following the races, stay and enjoy the weather with your family along with music by a DJ and a pancake breakfast provided by the Atascadero Kiwanis Club. There will also be vendors, wine tasting, raffles, and prizes for the race winners.

Even if running isn’t your thing, that’s okay! Lori Bagby, Chairperson of Lighthouse Atascadero, says, “A lot of people come and walk it, there’s a lot of events for the kids. It’s a super family-oriented.”

Most importantly, you’ll be helping Lighthouse support victims of addiction and work in spreading awareness, prevention, intervention, and education of substance abuse. Last year’s event brought in more than $25,000.00 for Lighthouse, its biggest year yet!

Eight years ago, Bagby brought the idea of doing the 5K as a fundraiser to her fellow Lighthouse members. Two years prior, she participated in the event with her friend Kelsey Sullivan when it was put on by the Chamber of Commerce, with Lighthouse being the beneficiaries. The next year the Association of Realtors stepped up to put on the event.

Unfortunately, the first two years of the event were not as successful as they had hoped. But, Sullivan pushed her friend to try it once more, this time with Lighthouse in charge.

Bagby tells me about that moment, “That’s when my friend Kelsey said ‘Lori we can do this and I will help you’ — so I went back to my board and said ‘you know we think it’s a really great event and think it could be something really wonderful.’”

So Bagby and Lighthouse went on to host their first Fun Run and Family Day with great success.

“That year we made maybe about $7,000 or something, and we had twice as many people,” Bagby said. “I think we had about 200 people and then every year since we just continue to grow it.”

Each year, the race is held at Pomar Junction Vineyards. If you are going to run for a good cause, it sure doesn’t hurt that it’s in a scenic venue at one of the best times of the year for weather in North County. Plus, the wine tasting room will be open after the event!

Besides all the fun to be had at the event, there is a deeper reason to come and show your support.

“We have parents that form teams that have lost a child to addiction, and they have their team there, and just seeing that support means a lot to me,” Bagby said.

Proceeds from the event will benefit Lighthouse, Atascadero and the Greyhound Foundation. The mission of Lighthouse is to help families affected by addiction and prevent others from heading down a damaging path. The 5K Fun Run and Family Day have become one of Lighthouse’s most supported fundraisers, with many sponsors returning year after year to show their support.

“It’s more awareness for Lighthouse and what we do,” Bagby said. “A lot of people do come who have lost kids or have people who are struggling with addiction, and I think it just feels like a really supportive event even though it’s all about the run and all about fun you still definitely have the feeling of why your there and what you are supporting.”

No matter how you decide to participate, you will be helping Lighthouse overcome addiction through awareness, prevention, intervention, and education.

To learn more or to register, visit lighthouseatascadero.org/benefit-fun-run.html.

Getting through this together, Atascadero