Kicking Off the School Year With a Sea of Blue and an Afternoon of Mountie Pride

Montclair’s True Blue Spirit was surging through the streets surrounding Woodman Field on Sunday afternoon as the 1st Annual “Mountie Pride Fun Run” stepped off. It was the perfect end to a beautiful weekend that kicked off on last Saturday with a hugely successful Montclair High School  “White Out” football against East Orange – the Mounties won 43-6 – and impressive wins by the MHS girls field hockey and soccer teams.

Sunday’s Mountie Pride Fun Run, organized by the Montclair High’s School Action Team and the Montclair Fund for Educational Excellence, drew more than 400 registered runners and walkers. People lacing up their running and walking shoes included current students from MHS and all of Montclair’s 10 elementary and middle schools, MHS alumni, elected officials, community leaders, residents, teachers, administrators and supporters.

“There are very few events that involve everyone side by side – from students, to teachers and parents, to the Superintendent, and even the Mayor,” said event co-chair and MHS School Action Team lead and MHS alumnae, Linda Bowers. “Our goal was to celebrate the start of the school year and the fall sports seasons with a sea of Mountie blue running through the streets. It was fantastic to see it happen.”

mountie pride fun run
Mayor Jackson &event chair, Linda Bowers & MC Eileen Painter. Photo: Connie Keys

In addition to the Run/Walk, a Community Pavilion was open during the event. Attendees, including Mayor Robert Jackson, County Freeholder Brendan Gill, Montclair Council Members Bill Hurlock, Renee Baskerville, Bob Russo and Robin Schlager and Superintendent Dr. Penny MacCormack, meandered through information tables and merchandise booths set up by dozens of MHS booster clubs, representing athletic, academic and artistic teams and activities  Other generous community business sponsors were also on hand. The event exceeded its fundraising goals, according to its planners.

Montclair-based Partners for Health served as the Mountie Pride Fun run’s lead sponsor.  The event’s proceeds will be placed toward educational seminars for students and parents on health and wellness topics, injury prevention and college recruiting. The MFEE and MHS School Action Team also plan to apply funds to professional development programs for coaches and long-awaited locker room updates. Ferguson Dental Associations, the Montclair’s Verizon Wireless Store and provided significant support to the event, along with Clary Anderson Arena and Montclair United Soccer Club. Fourteen other sports, health and fitness-focused businesses and families also contributed the fundraiser.

“The MHS School Action Team really couldn’t be happier since this was the Run’s first year,” said Bowers. “The generous sharing of time and talent by our volunteers, the MHS Field House staff and security team and Montclair Boy Scout Troop 12, who helped set up and break down our huge tents. All the residents and neighbors along the race route deserve a big thank-you for sharing the neighborhood with us.”

“We’re already looking forward to next year.”

The MHSSAT meets regularly to promote open communication and to support the educational, extracurricular, and administrative activities of Montclair High School. General meetings typically are held in the cafeteria one evening per month. The next meeting is planned for October 2 at 7 pm.

(Slideshow Photos: Connie Keys and Kelly Ferguson)

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