Centennial High School Principal Stephanie Porta is hoping a big turnout by students, faculty, parents and alumni at an Oct. 8 fundraising run might provide a big shot in the arm for a campaign to pay for a new digital sign.
The eighth annual Spirit Sprint 5K is set for Sunday, Oct. 8, in Genoa Park.
The event is sponsored by Orthopedic ONE, a surgery and sports-medicine practice with offices throughout central Ohio.
The run and walk serve as a fundraising platform for area high schools.
Porta said participating schools receive the entire registration fee of $25 for people who sign up for that team, and the school that gets the most runners and walkers registered receives a grand prize of $10,000.
Bexley High School received $17,026 from the 2016 Spirit Sprint.
That would be a major boost for the digital-sign effort, which currently has $10,000 in funding from efforts last school year as part of a "40 for 40" campaign celebrating Centennial's 40th anniversary.
"Unfortunately, we need $24,000, so we are still a ways off, but we are working towards it," Porta said.
"We're trying to get the word out to alumni and parents to sign up even if you don't want to walk or run," said Ralph Wolfe, a Centennial graduate with a student at the school who has been heading the 40 for 40 campaign.
Registration is available at orthopedicone.com/spirit-sprint.
Centennial participated in the Spirit Sprint for the first time last year, and came in fourth place, according to Porta.
"Which I think is pretty good," she said. "We're excited to see if we can grab (a spot in) the top three this year."
The fundraising campaign to replace a worn-out wooden sign that dates to the school's opening in 1976 with a digital sign that can offer information about activities has languished somewhat, Wolfe said.
"There's just not been much movement on things," he said.
"We're just trying to keep it out there. There have been a few donations, but not really much to speak of.
"Sometimes, with the folks who have been around, you don't want to wear them out by keeping on banging the drum," Wolfe said.
Porta and Wolfe said they hope a good showing by Centennial in the Spirit Sprint will remind people of the sign campaign.
"I think that will pick up the momentum," the principal said.