Learners Without Limits to host third annual 5K fundraiser

Event has grown each of the last two years


Learners Without Limits’ (LWL) 5K fundraiser is back for the third year after successful events in 2022 and 2023. The event is one of the organization’s two major fundraisers during the school year, the other being a bowling event in the fall.

The 5-kilometer walk/run will take place on Wednesday, May 8, at Yelm City Park. Runners and walkers can participate in one of two sessions, the first beginning at 3:30 p.m. and the second starting at 4:45 p.m. Participants will begin at the park and trek their way down the Yelm-Rainier-Tenino trail before circling back. Kids under 6 can participate for free, while student participants must pay $15 and adults pay $20. Donations will also be accepted after the event.

LWL’s goal is to provide low-income students with access to stable housing, clothing, nutrition and hygiene essentials to ensure that every student graduates with a plan. The nonprofit organization raised $10,000 in 2023’s event, which was attended by 100 community members, after raising nearly $7,000 in its inaugural event in 2022.

Sophia Struna, the LWL chair and Yelm Community Schools community relations and outreach coordinator, said the LWL’s only goal with the third annual event is to grow those numbers even more.

“Every year we want to grow. We want to continue to build on it by word of mouth. A lot of people have come up to me and the first thing they say is, “OK, so what about the 5K?’” she said. “It all goes toward awareness of what Learners Without Limits does. It goes toward the organization and the students that it supports, and it goes toward building the community and creating an annual event where everyone in Yelm knows there’s going to be a 5K for our students that they can look forward to.”

One new aspect of the event is that the recently built stage at Yelm City Park will be used throughout the day. Event signage created by Yelm High School’s art club will also be on display for the first time.

Participants are encouraged to register online at https://bountyforfamilies.org/product/5k-run-walk-runner-registration/. People who arrive at the park with intentions of donating and running will not be turned down, however. Struna said attendees have the choice of running or walking, and children can ride bicycles or scooters. Strollers are also acceptable.

Raffle tickets will be available for purchase upon check-in, and prizes from Anytime Fitness and Salon Nouveau will be up for grabs.

In the midst of concern regarding the school district’s levy and budget, Struna said the support that LWL, an organization under the Bounty For Families umbrella, provides is vital regardless of the outcome of the April 23 special election.

“The basic needs of students that LWL provides as a fiscal agent are things the district cannot do with their funds. As a fiscal agent, fundraisers are vital for LWL to continue supporting YCS students. Their needs will exist no matter what,” she said. “We’ve seen Yelm come together in so many great ways for our students. The fact that we have people who have really worked so hard for this organization to have it be such a fundamental part of our community is fantastic.”

To learn more about the 5K fundraiser and about LWL, visit https://bountyforfamilies.org/learners-without-limits/ or email yelmlearnerswithoutlimits@gmail.com.