A soggy -- but successful -- 'Standing Strong' anti-bullying run in Cottage Grove
As the rain fell early Saturday morning, organizers of the "Standing Strong" anti-bullying 5K fundraiser expected a small group of participants for their run.
Instead, nearly 200 runners and walkers braved the soggy conditions and took off from the starting line.
The run in and around Kingston Park in Cottage Grove raised roughly $11,000 for student bullying prevention programs at Oltman and Cottage Grove middle schools. It was organized by the schools and the Cottage Grove Lions Club.
"This is just so awesome," Lions Club secretary Kim Schouveller said of the turnout, even as the rain poured down.
The funding will pay for students headed into eighth grade at the two schools this fall to participate in a program organized by the nonprofit Youth Frontiers, which teaches students how to address and curb bullying. Teachers will then receive the anti-bullying program materials for use throughout the school year.
Local organizations provided food, drinks and supplies for the event, and others, including the St. Paul Park-Newport Lions Club, made monetary donations.