Runners, walkers raise money for junior class fun

Oct 7, 2018

The hilly terrain on Bakerville Road was a little challenging for Dartmouth’s Michael Vaz, who finished in first place to support his hometown high school’s junior class at the annual Go Big Green 5K on October 7.

Vaz finished with a time of 17:33, just a second ahead of his close friend and training buddy, Cody Gibney, of New Bedford.

Although he is a graduate of Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech, he trains with several Dartmouth High teacher friends who convinced him to give it a go. Although he is an avid runner, he found the course challenging.

“That second mile is really uphill, and it kind of hits you at a point where you’re really starting to get tired,” Vaz said. “It’s very challenging in the second mile, but having a downhill finish in the last mile really helps you recover.”

The annual event, which originally began to fund a service trip to New Orleans, has now grown into the Dartmouth High junior class’s largest fundraising event. Money raised goes to support the class’s senior week activities, prom, and after prom.

“If that helps them go out and get some fun activities started, it’s awesome,” Vaz said. “I remember my senior year in high school was awesome, so if I get to race and help them out at the same time, it’s a win-win.”

Staff advisor Maria Kelly, working with Lili Chamberlain and class officers, helped put the event together.

A total of 78 coaches, students, families — and a few pooches — took part in the 5K run and walk, and between 15 to 20 students volunteered to help, Kelly said.

“We had a better turnout than we had anticipated, and we had a huge help with Jessica Lassey, and she offered a little competition amongst our junior classes,” Kelly said, adding that in just two weeks the classes raised more than $3,000.

Junior class students were among the runners. John Correiro and Mitchell Taradash crossed the finish line together.

“It was a great course,” Taradash said. “It’s nice to help support our class for [senior] events.”