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Shell/MEF 10th Annual Run for Education a Big Success

10th Annual Shell/MEF Run for Education Raises $51,000 for Martinez Schools.

MARTINEZ — Sunday’s 10th Annual Shell/MEF 5k/10k Run for Education was a huge success, raising approximately $51,000 for the Martinez Education Foundation, far above the 2011 total of $45,000. At the grandstand in Martinez’s Main Street Plaza, Shell Martinez Refinery General Manager Paul Gabbard presented Martinez Schools Superintendent Rami Muth with a ceremonial check for $51,000. Some 627 runners and walkers competed in the event, with 59 runners in the event’s first-ever 10k with a route that spun off from the 5k and went up the hills to Carquinez Scenic Drive.

Kevin Selby of Martinez repeated as the first place winner in the men’s 5k category and Noreen Searls coming in first in the women’s category. Kevin Searls won the men’s 10k competition, and Lori Rogers won the women’s 10k.

Lela Smith, a Martinez Junior High student who designed the winning logo for this year’s race, called the race to a start from a grandstand at the Main Street plaza. She then became the first logo contest winner to run in the 5k race.

More than 100 people volunteered to make the event a success, including dozens of students from Martinez Junior High School and Alhambra High School.

The Run began in 2003 with the goal of rallying the community in support of the schools, and promoting health and wellness. It is the hallmark community event of the Shell Martinez Refinery, which devotes staff time to organizing the event and matches all contributions. The Martinez Education Foundation (MEF) uses the Run proceeds to give grants to Martinez schoolteachers for needed technology and other equipment in classrooms.

“We raised more money than last year due to many community sponsors along with a large number of runners,” said Cheryl Vereschagin, MEF board president. “It’s wonderful to see entire families, Martinez schools teachers and staff and so many community members participating in the race.”

Paul Gabbard walked in the 5k with his wife, Deirdre. “Shell Martinez is proud to support this event. What a great day for the MEF and for Martinez schools.”

“This is an amazing community event,” Rami Muth said. “It’s yet another way that Martinez shows its support for the schools. I really appreciate Shell as a corporate sponsor and as, truly, a partner in education.

In addition to the major sponsorship provided by the Shell Refinery, sponsors for the 10th Annual Run-Walk for Education included: Shell Chemical Plant, Criterion Catalyst Plant, Marty O’s Pizzeria, Benicia Fabrication, Starcon,

The Run, held on a Sunday for the first time, was preceded on Saturday evening by a fundraising pasta feed and silent auction, sponsored by the Martinez Rotary and Kiwanis clubs, at the Martinez Senior Center.