📷 Old Sturbridge Academy students Colton Zwirko, Caleb Lindsey, Asher Zwirko and Sawyer Blinn prepare to give medals to runners crossing the finish line. Sarah Champagne photo.

STURBRIDGE- Old Sturbridge Academy had great weather for its first annual Ox Trot 5k fundraiser Saturday, Sept. 8, avoiding rain or extreme temperatures. Organizers issued 174 registration bibs that would go through the finish line, including both runners and walkers. Some teams of walkers were represented by a single bib, so the total number of participants was closer to 200 people. The event also included a “kids’ fun run” on the Old Sturbridge Village common before the race began. The race course itself ran through Old Sturbridge Village, beginning and ending in the parking lot.

L-R, Jameson and Scarlett Whelan and Sophia, Gracie, Amy, and Mike Brawn gather at the first annual Ox Trot 5k in Sturbridge.

A variety of sponsors contributed to the event, including title sponsor B.T.’s Smokehouse. Sponsors contributed cash and in-kind donations, raffle prizes and several items for the extensive and coveted “swag bag” given to participants. The wide variety of donated goods in the swag bag included a full-size flexible L.E.D. desk lamp, a full-size seasoning from B.T.’s Smokehouse, coupons to use in area businesses, and other goodies.

“I always want to thank all of our sponsors, starting with Brian from B.T.’s Smokehouse. He was the first one to stand behind us and he donated the funding that allowed us to put on the event we were envisioning. It really was a huge community effort,” remarks Adura Staples, Old Sturbridge Academy parent and Race Director for the Ox Trot 5k.

Runners at the Ox Trot 5k enjoyed a course that ran through Old Sturbridge Village.

Staples also expresses gratitude to the Cournoyer Family and Big Bunny “for working with all of their vendors to put together the epic swag bags, which were a huge hit.”

Gratitude is the theme of the wrap up for this community event, as Staples also expresses her thanks to leaders at Old Sturbridge Village and the Parent Teacher Scholar Association of Old Sturbridge Academy.

“We are blessed to have such a beautiful campus and such wonderful people to work with. I want to thank the staff and administration at the school – those who participated as well as those who did not participate but came to support the effort anyway. That is the spirit of our school,” remarks Staples.

The event raised at least $7,000 for the purchase and installation of playground equipment on the campus of Old Sturbridge Academy. Individuals, businesses, or community groups who want more information about participating in next year’s event can contact the Old Sturbridge Academy PTSA at osaptsa@gmail.com or they can call the school at (774) 922-1840. Information about the school is also available on the school’s website.

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