On Saturday March 26, the second annual Los Altos High School Color Run festival was held at the high school as a major fundraiser for the many Los Altos sports teams. With over 670 registered students, this fundraiser was one of the biggest fundraisers of the year. Compared to last year’s Color Run, more advertising and greater sports team participation both contribute to this year’s successful event.
“We were expecting, because we had seen other races in the area increase by a 100 each year, to reach 500 participants, and every day of the last week, we had an additional 50 to 60 people registering each day,” assistant principal and ASB advisor Suzanne Woolfolk said. “And, what we wanted from this year, [and what] was the building piece was going beyond Los Altos High School. We got a lot of community involvement.”
With over 100 volunteers and 130 volunteer shifts, this year’s Color Run was bigger than imagined. The total proceeds earned from the event this year have totalled over $14,000 coming from donations, sponsorships, and registration fees. Although there were a few costs, the majority of that money went directly to the sports programs with ASB, Class Council, and The Talon all fundraising apart from the Color Run to achieve the total profit for the event.
“Last year nobody knew about it so it took a ton of effort and advertising to just make it successful around campus,” Woolfolk said. “This year, people knew about it, and I think athletes were pretty awesome in owning it. They knew they had to register and wanted to register.”
This year, ASB advertised the color run heavily with posters all around the campus with banners and flyers across Los Altos. ASB promised more prizes, events, a greater variety of food for the event compared to last year, and their promises were met. Although the usual buzz about last year’s event helped the community gain interest in this year’s event, successful advertising was definitely the greatest factor in this year’s success. Another lesser reason for the Color Run’s success this year was due to sports participation. Many sports made it mandatory for their athletes to participate in this years event, thus boosting the registration rate.
“We had another great year of a lot of volunteer involvement and that comes from clubs. We had a lot of volunteers from even other high schools and adults,” Woolfolk said. “So, that went really well and everybody is really helpful. We doubled the amount of colored powder and it was a different type and they liked that.”
As the Color Run is the major fundraiser for the sports program at Los Altos, the administration put a lot of work, time, and effort into creating buzz and an interest in this event for the entire community. All over social media and school websites, the word about the Color Run was spread by many different groups in Los Altos, and the result was better than previously expected in terms of urn out. Although a little under 700 people registered for the Color Run, many more showed up to participate in games and to socialize outside of the run itself.
“I think this year, the athletes recruited whole families and friends and people who aren’t involved in sports at all registered,” Woolfolk said. “It helps when people like something and want to sign up for something just because they like it, and not because it is a fundraiser.”
Although the Athletic Boosters, the Christmas Tree Sale, and the Pumpkin Patch are the three other smaller events that raise money for the sports program, the burden lies on the Color Run. This is the case because the administration chooses to spend the most money advertising this event and because it usually has the biggest turn out. Due to the increased pressure put on this event since last year, the need for a successful turn out and donation count is vital for the future of sports at Los Altos.
“I think that the high school run, people ended and they were still hungry and thirsty and they wanted something afterwards, so what can we do so that we are not here for 5 hours of events,” Woolfolk said. “If the runs were together, it’s just too big now. So we are trying to think about how to make these runs safe because of how many people come but also give a festival [feeling] and food, and cool games as well.”
Next year, the Color Run will become an even bigger event as the buzz surrounding the event this year will carry over to the Third Annual Color Run next year. If the success of this year continues forward, the Color Run will become one of the largest events at Los Altos.