An inaugural event surpassing all its goals has been called a huge success by organizers of the Empowering All Abilities 5K Run-Walk, a fundraiser for the Institute for the Redesign of Learning (IRL), last Saturday in South Pasadena’s Arroyo Park.
Shawn Prokopec, the IRL managing director, said she set a target of 300 runners for the first time endeavor. When 311 participants turned out, including one over the age of 70, she was all smiles.
“It was a fabulous day of fun and community and everyone is looking forward to this being an annual event!” she said in an email. “IRL thanks the city for the co-sponsorship of the event, all of the sponsors and vendors who helped support our event, and all of the participants who ran and walked.”
Funds raised, approximately $12,000, according to Propopec, will help support a new IRL music education program in partnership with Encore Music & Performing Arts, a local South Pasadena business.
“Almansor Academy, a local non-public school working with students with special needs, and Westmoreland Academy, a Pasadena-based non-public school working with students diagnosed with autism spectrum disorders, will start offering this program with Encore music teachers during summer school in July,” she explained in an email. “The hope is to grow this program to incorporate music into our Early Education program for infants – preschool and our Transition and Adult Services for adults with disabilities.”
Prior to Saturday’s race, managed by Aztlan Athletics, trainers from the South Pasadena –San Marino YMCA, hosted a morning stretch for runners.
Runners of all ages and abilities were welcomed to the event. “For the little ones and those with special needs a special 1K course was created so that they could enjoy the thrill of running, crossing a finish line, and receiving a medal,” explained Prokopec. “After the race, runners and their families enjoyed food and drinks, checking out all of the vendor booths, obtaining information and great ‘swag bags,’ and received health and fitness exams from City of Hope, Optum, and Mobi-Fit.”
Based in South Pasadena, the Institute for the Redesign of Learning (IRL) was launched in 1974 by founder Nancy J. Lavelle, Ph.D., and today is recognized as a leader in special education in Southern California.
The South Pasadenan was among a large group of sponsors supporting the run-walk, some of which included: Total Education Solutions, City of Hope, Pocari Sweat, Supreme Lending, South Pasadena Police and Fire Departments, South Pasadena Chamber of Commerce, San Gabriel Chamber of Commerce, The South Pasadenan, Twohey’s, Encore Music & Performing Arts, LA Giltinis, Optum, Anthem, South Pasadena TEAM Network, Pasadena TEAM Network, CDW, DogHaus, South Pasadena Grocery Outlet, Home Instead, Joseph Rene Estilo Salon, Mobi-Fit, MsRoshi, Painted Brain, Pavilions, Polar Seltzer, YogaSix, YMCA South Pasadena/San Marino, Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza & Pasta, Dental Group of Arcadia, Girls on the Run Los Angeles County, University of the West, and Young Stars Theatre.
For more information about the Institute for the Redesign of Learning, visit https://www.redesignlearning.org/.