Flintstone Challenge 5K helps Flint schools

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FLINT (WJRT) - (05/03/15) - Sunday was a positive note for Flint Community Schools, a district currently facing tough times - with budget cuts being just one problem.

The third annual Flintstone Challenge 5K run and walk raises money for the district.

"Well, I think everyone's here for the same reason. We're here to benefit the city of Flint," said race director Dan Hrabec.

Whether they were running or walking, the more than 200 people participating in the Flintstone Challenge had the same goal in mind: supporting Flint Schools.

"I think it's really great that people want to support things that matter to them and support the district they send their kids to," said first time race participant Lisa Lindenfelser.

Three years ago, Michigan State University medical students in Flint started the race. Proceeds go to the Flint Classroom Support Fund, which gives grants for classroom activities like field trips, and new curriculum.

"Some of the things we've done over the years have inspired these children to greater things," said Jay Dallas Winegarden Jr., president of the Flint Classroom Support Fund.

Just one example? The Flint Classroom Support Fund sends students to the Longway Planetarium's dome every year.

With the Flintstone Challenge 5k raising more than $25,000 over the years, funds definitely enrich the learning process for kids.

That's despite some major problems the district's facing. Flint Community Schools is slated to close several schools, and has an ongoing search for a new superintendent to take charge.

"Although, you know, we're having issues in that regards, but people still come out and help and assist us in the Flint Community Schools," said Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins.

MSU medical students started the race to connect to the community.

"We're lucky enough to have the city of Flint let us train to become doctors here, and it's just one small token of our appreciation to be able to give back to the community," Hrabec said.

That appreciation shows - from the runners participating, to the organization benefiting from the proceeds.

"It shows the community is coming together. And we're very proud to be a part of it," Winegarden Jr. said.

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