Story by Laura Santos, Photo by Kelly Payne 

The annual District Five Be A Fan 5k fun run was last Saturday, as people gathered in the bus loop at Dutch Fork High School.

“[The purpose of the Be a Fan 5k] is to raise funds to get things for our special needs students,” race director Monica Brumagin said. “Everyone is different; they all need special things, and it gets expensive. We do have funds we can use, but we will run out. [The race funds allow us to] provide more things for our students. Because funds are limited, this is extra we can access.”

The 5k helps raise funds for the special needs students in District Five, but it requires extensive preparation and organization.

“I always like to help out in the community whether it’s for school or in the city of Irmo,” junior Ben Alkhatib said.

Ben is a part of the Be A Fan Club and he said he enjoyed helping out with the race.

“We start planning for the next one [in February] and it requires a lot of people, effort and groups. We had the Junior Civitans, Beta Club, Be A Fan Club and baseball team help us, so it requires a lot of people to put it on,” Brumagin said. “[When we plan the 2019 race we will look at] what do we need to change, what do we need to get going. We need to get sponsors, [so] we go to businesses and get sponsors. We have to order awards. We get the Be A Fan Club to come up with themes and add a little more fun to the race.”

The 5k had age group awards as well as “fun awards.” “Fun awards” were given out to people who were most original, the dynamic duo, and best costumes. Freshman Abby Myers made the “fun awards” for the District Five Be A Fan 5k fun run.

“I made superhero themed mason jars and added color that corresponds to that superhero,” Abby said, “I put some candy inside of the mason jar.”

Senior Christian English was one of the five judges for the “fun awards.”

“I think [the 5k raised awareness of the special needs students] because all the participants don’t necessarily go to this school or know about the impact it has on these kids,” Christian said.

The Be A Fan 5k raises awareness to the special needs students all over Lexington Richland Five school district.

“[The 5k] raises awareness because more people in the community can come out and support the special needs students,” Abby said.

Sophomore Taylor Thomas said the race that it brings everyone together to support the special needs students.

“I do believe [the race raises awareness about the special needs students] from the people who volunteer to the people who ran,” Ben said.

Abby was a runner and she ran the Be A Fan 5k to support the special needs students.

“Our goal is to make it [the Be A Fan 5k] fun and more appealing for people to come out and support us to make it known these kids are worth coming out and doing things for. Making people more aware of our disabled students,” Brumagin said. “[It would] be nice if we could move it to nicer weather, but we got to work around the athletes [schedule] and that’s why it’s in January. We like to get [special needs students] involved in the race, but in January the weather too unpredictable.”