PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — More than 1,300 people started their day with some exercise and support for public education in Palm Beach County.
The Education Foundation's annual Heroes for Education 5K brought out its biggest crowd to date at John Prince Park near Lake Worth Beach.
The event is more than about raising money.
Teachers, students and community members from all corners of Palm Beach County raced to support their schools.
"It says to me PBC loves our teachers, and to see so many kids out, obviously we want kids to be active and healthy and have fun and it’s showing," Education Foundation CEO James Gavriolos said.
Gavrilos said this event helps support their core mission supporting teachers.
The foundation awards teaching grants and operates Red Apple Supplies, giving them to teachers in more than 80 schools with more to come.
"This event has two purposes: it’s fundraising and friend raisers. We’ll raise probably $30 to $40,000 today but more important we’re building relationships in our community," Gavriolos said.
Schools compete for the best participation.
The school police department had a strong showing, too.
"Usually when you are in the schools it’s an officer presence so any opportunity we get to show support outside of being a police officer, it’s welcome," Officer Philern David said.
Davis was the first school officer to cross the 5K finish line in around 25 minutes.
The mascots took a run at it, too.
"It went a lot better than expected," Kirsten Maarsigh said "I was surprised at my time."
Participants say the best part is being heroes for education.
The Education Foundation will break ground in December on a new 32,000-square-foot facility that will allow them to expand the Red Apple Supplies program to teachers in all Palm Beach County schools.