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SAPR hosts first Zoo Zoom Run

Wesley Althaus, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, runs with stuffed animals during the adult portion the 50 SW Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office’s Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, April 28, 2017. During the run participants picked up donated stuffed animals along the track, each deducting seconds from their overall time. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Wesley Althaus, 3rd Space Operations Squadron, runs with stuffed animals during the adult portion the 50 SW Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office’s Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, April 28, 2017. During the run participants picked up donated stuffed animals along the track, each deducting seconds from their overall time. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Assorted stuffed animals are gathered for the 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office’s Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, April 27, 2017.  More than 500 stuffed animals were donated for the event before finding a home with community children in need. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Assorted stuffed animals are gathered for the 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office’s Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Thursday, April 27, 2017. More than 500 stuffed animals were donated for the event before finding a home with community children in need. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Paula Krause, 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, hands out medals to youth participants during the 50 SW SAPR Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, April 28, 2017. While all the stuffed animals gathered by kids during the run were recollected and sent to children in need, participants earned medals, capes and prizes for their effort. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

Paula Krause, 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator, hands out medals to youth participants during the 50 SW SAPR Zoo Zoom Run at Schriever Air Force Base, Colorado, Friday, April 28, 2017. While all the stuffed animals gathered by kids during the run were recollected and sent to children in need, participants earned medals, capes and prizes for their effort. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class William Tracy)

SCHRIEVER AIR FORCE BASE, Colo.-- --

 

Children and adults gathered stuffed animals while sprinting towards  the finish line during  the 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Prevention and Response office’s Zoo Zoom Run April 28.

Stuffed animals were spread out along the running tracks for participants to gather during the run, the goal being gathering the most stuffed animals as possible while still achieving an optimal running speed.

For the adults 2.5 mile run, each stuffed animal took seconds off their overall run duration. In addition, they were asked SAPR related questions for a chance to knock off more time. For children, their run was composed of multiple unrecorded laps around the indoor running track.

Carrying as many stuffed animals as possible while running led to humorous results, said Paula Krause, 50th Space Wing Sexual Assault Response Coordinator.  

“It was hilarious to see people running; a lot of people were pretty creative about carrying the most animals across the finish line,” Krause said.

Robert Fuller, 50th Space Wing Judge Advocate’s office, earned first place for the male adult run with a time of 12:05, while Veronica Leddy, 50th Civil Engineer Squadron, earned first place for females with a time of 13:32.

While adults focused on achieving the best possible time, the children had different priorities during their running event, said Krause.

“The kids’ run was a bit of organized chaos,” she said. “A lot of parents told me they wished their kids picked up toys so quickly at home. They cleared all the stuff animals within 10 minutes.”

The event was held in recognition of April being the Month of the Military Child, Child Abuse Awareness month and Sexual Assault and Awareness and Prevention Awareness month. Throughout the month, Airmen donated more than 500 stuffed animals for children in need in bins located around the base. 

After the run, the animals were gathered back in the bins to be donated to children in need through Safe Passage, a child advocacy center.

Genelle Martinez, National Space Defense Center, who participated in the adult run, said she enjoyed the chance to go run for a good cause.

“It was challenging to pick up and carry stuffed animals; it added a unique twist,” she said. “I appreciate the fact that the animals will be donated to kids later on, it’s pretty cool.”

After its first year, Krause said she looks forward to possibly implementing the event in the future after witnessing the promising results and turnout.

“Thanks to Schriever for donating so many stuff animals to help out kids,” said Krause. “Both were successful events and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Plus we get to give back to the local community.”

 

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