There’s still time to get tickets for the Running of the Pups dinner this evening.
The McPherson High School (MHS) cross country team is hosting a fundraising dinner to help students attend the Brocaw Blazers Cross Country Camp in Colorado Springs, Colorado, from July 10 to 17.
The idea for the dinner was inspired by friendly inquiries Shane and Anne Kirchner were fielding for when they were going to reopen Amics, a former local restaurant they used to own.
“As we started toying around with ways to raise money, we came up with the idea of doing an Amics reunion dinner,” explained Anne. “It dawned on us that it was a logical way for us to provide a service that people were still wanting, and then also to raise dollars for the cross country team.”
Six cross country students from MHS are attending the camp this summer, including Shane and Anne’s son Chris, but it’s Anne’s hope that this fundraiser will help future runners have the opportunity to go as well.
“It is our hope that we’ll raise enough money to help them cover their camp costs, but then also to begin a fund for kids that want to go next year,” said Anne.
“So it’s kind of a two-fold process where we’re trying to help current kids and then also make way for the future.”
The Kirchners may be contributing their time and their expertise they gained from running a restaurant. But they won’t be doing all the work, as Anne explained.
“The other beauty of this event is that we’re actually going to use the kids to help cook the food and serve the meal. So from our standpoint it’s also an educational opportunity for them.
“And it’s another way for the team to do some team-building exercises as well,” she added.
Anne was very impressed with their son Chris’ experience with the camp last year, which was a big motivator for their decision to put their support behind making it possible for even more students to attend.
“He came back knowledgeable, fired up, ready to go,” said Anne.
“He had a great season; he ended up placing seventh in league last year and the smile on his face told us, ‘Yea, these dollars are worth our investment.’ So he came back wanting to share the experience with more teammates."
The cost is about $700 for each person attending the camp, which not only focuses on physical fitness, but healthy living and eating habits as well.
“They have different workshops that teach them health, wellness, fitness… my son went last year and he attended a workshop that literally taught him how to pick the right running shoe for him.
“So it gets very technical,” Anne said. “It really teaches them the importance of balancing a healthy diet while they’re running, and while they’re not running. So it’s above and beyond, ‘How do you run?’”
The cost of Thursday’s dinner is $35 a plate. However, donations are also being accepted for those who may not be able to attend the dinner but would still like to help out the students and make it possible for more high school runners to attend the camp.
Anne also emphasized that this dinner would not be possible without their generous sponsors, Home State Bank and McPherson Concrete, who donated money for all the food for the dinner.
“So 100 percent of the proceeds will go straight to the kids,” Anne stated.
Depending on how this dinner goes, Anne’s hope is to continue helping other students, even after her own kids are done with high school.
“We’re hoping to do this as an annual event, even after our kids move on to college, because cross country holds a special place in our heart.
“And it would be a way for us to give back to the community and still support a local sport that our kids have been involved in, and then just support our local schools as well.”
The dinner is tonight at 7:00 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. Check with the Kirchners for tickets. As of the interview with Anne earlier this week, about 30 tickets were still available from the 100 they are able to accommodate.
Shane and Anne Kirchner can be reached by calling 620-480-9052 or email@example.com.
Freewill donations can also be given for the team or for one particular student if so desired. Donations can also be anonymous.
Thursday’s menu is playing off the traditional items that the Kirchners used to serve at Amics, a Mediterranean style restaurant, and features three of their favorite tapas; a main dish; and dessert.
Gazpacho (cold tomato soup)
Tortilla Espanola (egg and potato omelate)
Curried Meatballs (self-explanatory)
Paella de Carne (rice dish with chicken, pork and chorizo/sausage)
Chocolate Pots de Crème (custard) with a Cookie