“The Clarke community shined brightly on March 25,” said Melanie Jensen, a development and communications manager at Clarke. “Great comradery and positive spirit were on full display as runners, sponsors, Clarke families, community leaders and Clarke Board members gathered for the annual event.”
The Kilwins Jacksonville Ice Cream Run was founded by Dana and Vance Stallings of Jacksonville in gratitude for the services their daughter Haley received years ago at Clarke. Haley attended Clarke on a scholarship, and the Stallings wanted to give back by creating the Kilwins Jacksonville race over 10 years ago. The family takes part each year, running and scooping ice cream, as owners of Kilwins Jacksonville.
The popular event offered a timed 5K race and a one-mile run/walk around the St. Johns Town Center. At the finish line, participants were rewarded with free, all-you-can-eat Kilwins Original Recipe Ice Cream. Before the 5K, the crowd-favorite event occurred with dozens of Clarke students running the 100-yard Kiddie Dash!
The Kilwins Jacksonville Ice Cream Run also offered a lively sponsor and vendor activity area, made possible by the many sponsors supporting Clarke.
Thanks to generous support from the Jacksonville community, the event exceeded the $100,000 fundraising goal and donations can still be made! All proceeds from the event support Clarke’ Florida programs and services, teaching students who are deaf or hard of hearing how to listen and talk.
One Clarke Trustee, said “Families were smiling the entire morning!”