Project HOPE Center Receives Paint the Plains Donation

HOPE Center Students and Staff/Volunteers

HOPE Center Students and Staff/Volunteers

Over a dozen youngsters and members of Project HOPE and organizers from the Paint the Plains Patriot Run got together at Lincoln School for a check presentation, proceeds from the September 12th Run at Willow Creek Park.

A cloud of color starts the race.

A cloud of color starts the race.

280 runners and walkers signed up for the first-time event which earned $3,000 in donations for the HOPE Center. The Run, an idea from Shane Dashner and Kendra Cope, was borrowed from other, similar events, and was a complete success with Lamar residents.  Neither organizer expected to get 280 participants and their donations, coupled with a $2,300 from the National Guard to get the project underway, helped reach the $3,000 mark for the HOPE Center.

Participants, a few in their 80s, ran a course in and around Willow Creek Park on Saturday, September 12th.  The Patriot Run was held on the same day as the annual Tri-State First Responder Patriot’s Tribute at the Prowers County Fairgrounds.  Usually coupled with a patriotic theme, the runs incorporate ‘painting stations’ along the course at which the runners are pasted head-to-toe with red-white and blue non-toxic cornstarch.  It’s washable, but can be set into each commemorative tee shirt the runners receive for their participation.

Some runners got a little more color than they bargained for and that will be worked out for the second year. To add to the festivities, the runners enjoyed a musical accompaniment from DJ’s Butch and Jeanie Buchanan with Shadow Mountain Productions and Victor Coberly with DJ Entertainment.  The first year sponsors included: Colorado Army National Guard, OneMain Financial, Healthy Places, Community State Bank, Colorado East Bank & Trust, Valley National Bank, State Farm Insurance, Golden Plains Insurance, Kactus Inc., PCDI, Prowers Lodging Tax Panel, Boy Scouts, 9-11 Tribute, Dashner’s Tree Trimming and J & S Graphic Designs.

The HOPE Center earned an additional $400 in sales from their chili supper, served just prior to the Lamar Savages ‘Whistle’ game against La Junta. Coalition members and volunteer were set up to serve the spicy dish just outside Savage Stadium this past Friday.

By Russ Baldwin

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