Hunger Run benefits both students and community

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By Jenna Dennison

Blaine High School’s Close Up program is planning its second Hunger Run fundraiser. On November 28, the group is organizing a 5K run around the Blaine High School campus.

Check-in for the event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Peace Arch replica in front of the high school, with the race beginning at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to bring a donation. Funds raised will benefit two local groups: half of the proceeds are sent to the Blaine Food Bank, while the other is contributed to Close Up’s trip to Washington, D.C.

An anonymous donor inspired the first Hunger Run last year. The donor had offered to match any funds raised for the Blaine Food Bank up to $25,000. For Close Up program coordinator Dave Fakkema, the Hunger Run was an ideal fundraiser, as it was “more than just benefiting kids, it benefited the community,” he said. Last year, the group raised roughly $2,300 altogether. While there is not an offer to match funds this year, the Close Up program is still eager to contribute half of its funds to the food bank.

The Close Up program is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization that takes students to Washington, D.C., which is referred to by the program as a “classroom without walls.” Since the mid 1980s, more than 500 students from Blaine have traveled to the nation’s capital with the program. This year, 11 students from the junior and senior classes will be traveling to D.C. During their stay, students have the opportunity to visit famous monuments, discuss current issues with policymakers from both sides of the political spectrum and meet with their Congressional representatives. Overall, the cost per student is $2,057 to travel with the program.

Fakkema said donations to Close Up’s general fund or to specific students are greatly appreciated, and can be brought to the Blaine High School office. Any donations to Close Up are also tax deductible. Contact David Fakkema at 360/332-6045 or at dfakkema@blainesd.org with any additional questions.

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