By Jeremiah Dobruck
7:14 PM PST, February 1, 2013
Last year when Eastbluff Elementary School in Newport Beach was about to lose a physical education teacher and kindergarten class aides to budget cuts, the PTA raced to find a way to save the positions.
The Eastbluff Elementary School Otter Rock and Run jog-a-thon was born.
Organizers hoped to take in about $7,000, PTA Event Chairwoman Emily Grimmond said. The event raised $17,000, saving the staff they would've lost.
"We were blown away," she said.
With a year's experience running the fundraiser under her belt and added community support, Grimmond hopes Friday's second Otter Rock and Run topped that.
"The community is pumped now," she said. "Last year we didn't really know what to expect."
This year, she's shooting to raise $20,000 that will go toward art, computers and music programs, she said.
That money was earned on the legs of students, who took off in heats starting at 1:30 p.m. Runners and joggers from each grade decked out in Otter red chugged along the course.
Each had asked for pledged donations to support the school for their sweat.
Local police and firefighters also showed their support, something this event had in common with the inaugural run.
"Last year the firefighters all stood on the perimeter on the track and gave high fives to all the kids," said Colleen Taricani, the PTA's executive vice president.
This year, the Corona del Mar High School drum line and cheerleaders joined the joggers on the field. Chick-fil-A's mascot cow ran.
As a deejay spun, parents could meander through other fundraisers, like a bake sale that raised about $500 last year.
Those sweet treats too, did even better than last year, Grimmond added.
"The bake sale this year compared to last year, it's astronomical," she said. "This year we should at least double it."