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Jul 20, 2015 - Ridgetown's 5K Sod Buster Raises Awareness, Spirits and Funds

RIDGETOWN – July 20th, 2015: The 1st 5K Sod Buster held at the University of Guelph, Ridgetown Campus on July 12th attracted approx. 400 community friends as participants or spectators for the 5k walk or run, or for the Barnyard Dash kids activity course.

“We were thrilled with the support from everyone involved; participants, volunteers, corporate sponsors, media, and spectators,” says Liz Meidlinger, Manager, Communications and Advancement. “Almost 250 persons completed the 5K route throughout the campus with over 30 volunteers helping at various spots around the route and at the start/finish line. The participants in the event represented agribusiness, farmers, Westag alumni, corporate sponsors, area residents, seasoned runners/walkers, and campus staff families.”

The participants enjoyed the diverse route throughout the campus grounds and various campus research areas including selected field crop research ranges. The goals of the event were to offer a healthy activity for C-K residents as well as raise awareness of the campus’ desire to build a new sustainable crop research and innovation centre. This initiative is part of a province-wide renewal of crop research infrastructure seeking to upgrade aging research facilities.  

Receiving a shiny gold event medal as they crossed the finish line put a smile on everyone’s face and many participants completed their first 5K walk/run while others attempted to break personal 5K records. 

The event was also a great opportunity for family, friends and local farmers to come together and do something active as well as build their awareness of the programs and facilities at OAC’s Ridgetown campus.  

Organizers estimate the event raised approx. $20,000 in support to the Ridgtown Agri-Food Foundation’s capital campaign for new sustainable crop research facilities, and a more formal fund raising announcement will follow. Several corporate sponsors also provided critical in-kind support valued at over $5,000.00. Mucci Farms of Kingsville provided a custom made start/finish line archway and others made important event contributions. 

Committee organizers were very pleased with all aspects of the first time event from the project start line to the finish line.

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