Deaf awareness, fundraiser draws in community

Students, faculty and members of the community will be lacing up their running shoes to take part in the first Missouri School for the Deaf Parents’ Organization 5K Run/Walk.

In an effort to raise funds for MSDPO and to promote deaf awareness, the organization will sponsor the Fun Run/Walk from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 30, at the MSD football field.

Jeff Patridge, president of MSDPO, said school budget cuts have affected MSD just like other schools across the state, so the parents’ organization tries to help out where it can. Money raised by the non-profit organization goes toward purchasing items for the dorms, providing supplies for teachers, summer camps, college scholarships and other school needs.

Patridge said MSD students from kindergarten through high school will attend the event, along with faculty and staff members.

“It’s a good opportunity to get to know the students of the school for the deaf and interact with them,” Patridge said. “It’s also a good opportunity to get some exercise while helping a good cause.”

Megan Key, MSD teacher and event organizer, said “deafness is often a mystery” and “looked at as a disability.” By inviting the community to MSD events like the Fun Run/Walk, Key said it may help to create a better understanding of the deaf community.

“You can learn as well as help yourself and the community,” Key said. “We’d love to show just how much we have in common.”

This is the first year the MSDPO has put on a 5K run, which the organization hopes will become an annual event.

Community members of all ages are invited to the Fun Run/Walk. Registration cost is $20 for adults and $12 for ages 12 and under. Key said “goodie” bags will be available for all participants, and there will be prizes and drawings. For more information or to register, interested persons can go to www.msdpo.org. Participants can also register at the event.

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