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Running for Education

The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation (PPIE) hosted a fitness fundraiser on April 30.

The Pleasanton Partnerships in Education Foundation (PPIE) was started in 1987 to raise money for local schools. Based in Pleasanton, California, a suburb of San Francisco, the nonprofit recently hosted a family-focused fitness event for the community.

“Our event helps to bring the community together,” said Mindy Louie, events and outreach manager for PPIE. “We have more than 3,000 participants, hard-working volunteers, and spectators.” 

This year’s fitness event took place on April 30 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. It featured races of two miles, five kilometers (about 3.1 miles), and 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles). A new Kids Challenge consisted of a quarter-mile run to encourage younger children to participate. 

When asked to describe the run, 11-year-old Jeremy Louie said, “Fun, exciting, and enjoyable.” Jeremy added that he was happy to help support his school. 

The PPIE supports all 15 schools in the Pleasanton Unified School District, which includes more than 14,500 students and 800 teachers and staff. The nonprofit strives to fund education programs affected by budget cuts, while encouraging fitness and athleticism. To date, the PPIE has raised $1 million for the school district.


Eighth grader Ollie Gu (center) finished first in his age group in the PPIE 10K run. 


A local runners’ group called the BURN Youth Development (or B.Y.D.) participated in the fundraiser. The B.Y.D. began at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to encourage local kids to stay fit.

The B.Y.D. has since grown to include more than 100 youth members, 30 of whom ran in April’s PPIE event. “The B.Y.D. was born in the darkest days of COVID-19 to keep kids active,” explained Jerry Wu, the group’s founder and lead coach. “Watching them running strong and happy makes me smile every time.”

Wu encourages teamwork and teaches the students valuable running techniques. Eighth grader Ollie Gu, a B.Y.D. member, was one of the top finishers in the 10K run. He completed the race in 40 minutes and 46 seconds and won first place in the 12 - 15-year-old age group.

“The race was extremely rewarding,” Ollie said. “I’m looking forward to it next year.” 


Photos courtesy of the author