Families Flock to Folger’s Annual 5K Fun Run

Folger McKinsey Elementary School families got to have fun, raise money and enjoy an active lifestyle on Sunday.

For the fourth year running, Folger McKinsey Elementary School has held their Family Fun Run to raise money for the PTO bringing families, eager to walk, run, trot and cheer to

Participants walked a 3/4 mile trail, ran a 5K race, or completed both. The 5K race was an Annapolis Striders officially sanctioned event, while the Fun Run was an “unofficial mile".

Carol Zimmerman was on hand to root for her son, fourth-grader Jack Zimmerman who ran the 5K for the first time with no training required. “He just wakes out of bed and goes,” said Zimmerman.

Kathie Hamlett, former PTO president, also expressed her oldest son’s enthusiasm for the race.  Michael has participated in the walking portion in previous years, but insisted on entering the 5K race this year.  “This is Michael’s first time ever.  He was so excited that he got up at 7 o’clock saying he had to run the 5K,” Hamlett said.

In just under 21 minutes, Folger’s newest physical education teacher, Tim Smith, placed first in the 5K.  Debbie Young, mother of two, was the first woman to complete the race, at a time of 22:22.

Additional notable race placements include the following:

Age 12 - 20

Jana Gawitt

Andrew Forsyth

Age 9 -12

Aaron Kent

Elizabeth Kiely

Age 8 and under

Sean Kearney

Olivia Wright

Top Female Finisher

Debbie Young

Top Teachers

Tim Smith

Jacqueline Torrelli

Families and children of all ages participated in the Fun Run and strollers were allowed for both events.  The 5K race, while showcasing the talents of many local runners, was also an event for first-timers and others that were not concerned with breaking speed records.

After the race, participants enjoyed refreshments and replaced carbs and calories with healthful snacks like bagels with cream cheese and fruit.  Families were also able to bid on silent auction items provided by many local sponsors.  Bidders were able to get bargains on items while raising money to fund PTO service projects and technology enhancements at the school.

Organizer Mary O’Connor said, “We’ve raised a little more each year.  Last year, we made $7,000.  Everybody in the community gets involved.  We’ve been pretty successful and if you can’t give money, you can always give items for the silent auction.”

Owing to extremely high bids for a few items last year and fewer silent auction items this year, O’Connor speculated that last year’s earnings would not be exceeded this year.  However, participation is growing.  “We had 116 runners in the 5K this year and over 250 participants total,” O’Connor said.

“ is one of the biggest sponsors, providing a monetary donation and refreshments every year.  provided a donation of $500 and five people to help staff the event.”

Along with these sponsors, other notable supporters are: Big Vanilla, , , , , Dr. Miller, , Fare Chiropractic, , PC Repair, Maryland Performing Arts Center and .

For more information or to help out for next year’s Folger 5K, contact Molly O’Connor at mollyoconnorgentile@gmail.com or 410-315-7829.

*Editor's Note: This article has been modified to reflect Debbie Young as a Top Female Finisher and Elizabeth Kiely top finisher in 9-12 age group.


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