MARTINEZ — The 16th Annual Shell/MEF Run for Education on September 30, 2018, brought in $90,000 for the Martinez Education Foundation (MEF) while drawing 824 runners and walkers who competed in 5k or 10k events through downtown Martinez.
“The is the single largest fundraiser for MEF, the contributions go directly to programs, technology and supplies teachers can’t otherwise afford ” said Cheryl Vereschagin, Vice President of MEF Board of Directors. “Shell has been an amazing partner to us.”
The total amount raised since the Shell Martinez Refinery began the community fundraiser in 2003 is $815,000. MEF grants money to Martinez Unified School District teachers, so they can buy items such as laptops, science and art supplies, robotics equipment, books and tricycles.
Shell Martinez External Relations Manager, Ann Notarangelo is already looking forward to next year, “This run is wonderful on so many levels. It celebrates our schools and raises money that goes right into classrooms. We look toward to 2019 and beyond, as we run to a raise a million dollars since the run’s inception.”
“It’s inspiring to see so many people coming together year after year to support the education of our children,” said Tom Rizzo, Shell Martinez Refinery General manager. “It’s a testament to the caring community we live in.”
Martinez Unified School District Superintendent CJ Cammack said, “We are so glad to partner with Shell on this great event that brings the community together for the benefit of our children.”
After the Alhambra High School marching band entertained runners and volunteers assembling at Main Street Plaza, a Martinez Police motorcycle officer led runners and walkers starting the race on Main Street under sunny skies. Many of the runners and walkers were accompanied by their children and their dogs, especially on the 5k course. The 10k runners peeled off for the longer course up Carquinez Scenic Drive.
Joseph Huang came in first in the men’s 10k category, and Sigrid Fallentine came in first in the women’s category. Lev Afonine won the men’s 5k competition, and Lisa Allan of Martinez won the women’s event once again.
The complete results are posted at Martinez Run for Education
Along with student volunteers from Martinez Junior High School and Alhambra High School, dozens of Shell employees, CERT volunteers and community members volunteered to make the event a success.
The Run began in 2003 with the goal of rallying the community in support of Martinez 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 contributions. This year’s Run was also supported by dozens of corporate sponsors that donated money and gave in-kind contributions. Companies donating $2,5000 were, KevComp, JL Modular and HydrochemPSC. Shell Martinez Refinery contributed an additional $30,000 and also made friendly wagers on the outcome of the Golden State Warriors’ playoff games with their colleagues at Shell Deer Park and Shell Norco. As the Warriors marched toward another championship, the refineries in Houston and New Orleans donated $5,000 each to MEF.
The Run was preceded on Saturday evening by a fundraising Family Fun Night sponsored by the Martinez Rotary and Kiwanis clubs at the Shell Clubhouse.
Visit the Shell Refinery in Martinez Facebook page for photos