Kids, kindness, K5K and Supercamp all for Alex Sabados
By Jan Dowker
Sunday’s kickoff of the Alex Sabados Day of Kindness week unfolded under blue skies and warm weather as volunteers hung bright orange balloons along main street, at parks and schools; organizers from Berthoud High School (BHS) unveiled their first Kindness 5K (K5K) competitive run and 5K Memorial Walk/Run, and Danny Walker’s American Supercamp free learn-to-ride clinic welcomed enthusiastic kids from 2 -12 years old.
The BHS student council co-sponsor Jenn Santos oversaw the K5K, her first competitive race and memory walk/run. Participants were treated to Spartans pride at water stations, race registration tables, and the start and finish lines, as students volunteered throughout the day, sharing kindness and encouragement.
“It was just so cool,” said Gloria Major, a volunteer on the Alex Sabados Day of Kindness committee. “The memorial run had everyone from toddlers to grandparents who ran or walked in memory of someone. It was just so nice that everybody I saw after the event had a smile on their face.”
The top three men and women finishers in the competitive race included, for the men: Luis Gutierrez and Scott Hutchins; with the top three women racers: April King, Laurel Engelbert and Elana Teravest. Ted Engelbert also took first place for the youth racers. Each was treated to a goodie bag filled with a T-shirt and gift cards from event sponsors.
“I stayed at the finish line and heard the runners mention how well organized it was and that they’ll come next year and will help promote the event,” said Julia Sabados, Alex’s mom.
All donations for the K5K registration and entries to win the orange cruiser bicycle, donated by Bike-N-Hike owners Rick and Jill Emerson, will benefit Children’s Hospital’s Oncology unit.
The Danny Walker American Supercamp learn-to-ride clinic was a popular addition this year. Families watched as their kids donned safety helmets and protective clothing, while trainers explained one-on-one how to ride, hopping on the small motorcycles behind kids who rode for the first time.
“We don’t get a lot of opportunities to do these clinics locally,” said Danny Walker, founder of the American Supercamp. “We’ve been doing these for 17 and a half years and taught more than 36,000 kids in our learn-to-ride program; safety is always a top priority.”
Broad smiles and beaming faces looked out from under helmets as kids glanced at proud parents and siblings who stood watching at the safety fencing.
“This was a natural fit for the day of kindness, and I’m glad our schedule worked out so that we could fit it in,” said Walker of their participation. “We counted 82 kids that went through, but I’m sure some went more than once,” he said, smiling.
“His whole team was so professional, but at the same time they made it so much fun and helped build the self esteem of the kids who rode,” said Julia Sabados. “What they taught the children will last a lifetime because they learned to ride and have the confidence that they can do it. It was priceless.”
After the Supercamp clinic wrapped, many of the volunteers who helped plan the Day of Kindness events participated in the lighting of the ‘”memory” sky lanterns, writing notes and messages for family and friends who have passed away. As the lanterns took flight, their multi-colored paper frames dotted the sky with their heartfelt messages.
On Tuesday, BHS held the student assembly for the Day of Kindness where graduate Alex Liebman presented six students with the Kindness Awards. Recipients of the award included Taylor Armitage, Tory Johnson, Max Larson, Sarah Lesko, Aubrey Wise, and Noah Young. A special Kindness Award was also presented to BHS student council co-sponsor Jenn Santos for her tireless work to make Alex Sabados Day of Kindness week such a success.
The use of the hashtag #AlexSabadosDOK was started this year as a new way to share acts of kindness through social media. From Facebook to Twitter and Instagram, supporters began tagging photos with the hashtag moniker and encourage others to use it to spread kindness throughout the year.
“The outpouring of our community for ourselves was very overwhelming and heartfelt,” said Dave Sabados, Alex’s dad. “We do this for the children and it was just a super event and brought everyone together.”
“If we can plant seeds of kindness everywhere that will be great,” said Julia. “We planted a lot of them this year.”
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