If you go

What: YWCA Dash and Bash 5K, 10K and 1-mile dash

When: 8:30 a.m. Sunday

Where: Boulder Reservoir

Cost: $50 for festival pass; $100 for festival pass and T-shirt

More info: See a fundraising leaderboard and other information at https://bit.ly/2NY9DNE. The fundraising deadline is Friday.

The community is invited hoof it Sunday on behalf of YWCA Boulder County.

YWCA, which has been providing services for women, children and families in Boulder for more than 95 years, is holding its first Dash and Bash at the Boulder Reservoir. The fundraiser will include 5K and 10K runs and a 1-mile dash.

The event, the first of its kind for YWCA, is intended to bring the community together around the common goal of eliminating racism and empowering women.

"It's a new event that we wanted to introduce to this community ... one of the comments that I kept getting as I started in this position is people saying, 'Debbie what can I do? How can I connect to this? I feel so strongly that I want to do something,'" said YWCA CEO Debbie Pope, who took the helm of the nonprofit organization in January.

YWCA programs, such as Children's Alley, which YWCA CEO Debbie Pope describes as "the only emergency drop-in quality child care in the entire Front Range," and Reading to End Racism, are a key part of the nonprofit's mission.


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Winnie Bordelon has been using Children's Alley since her daughter was born in 2012.

"I think they're an important part of our community for people who find themselves in a difficult moment and don't know quite how to fill a gap for child care," Bordelon said. "I think they're kind of an essential part of that because they do evenings, they do Saturdays and sliding scale, drop-offs as needed, you know, as long as they have the space."

Reading to End Racism "is an intergenerational program that was developed to create understanding and empathy... by really using literature as a way to be able to open up the topic with kids from the ages of elementary school all the way to middle school," Pope said.

Reading to End Racism is offered in Spanish and English, with around 3,000 students completing it annually. The program sends volunteers into area classrooms to share personal stories about how racism has touched their lives, reading a book and having a discussion, sometimes ending with a song or dance.

"We talk about racism, bullying, sexism, ageism, religious persecution, immigration, everything that possibly could come up," said Daisy Saragoussi, a volunteer with Reading to End Racism.

Debbie Davia, another volunteer, said the aim is "to get the kids to think about how they would feel if they felt left out or different."

Pope said, "...I will say like 95 percent of the students who were interviewed after going through the program said that if somebody was being picked on or there was an instance that came up, they felt like they would be an ally and they would stand up for them."

YWCA's allies are ready to stand, or rather run, too. In advance of Sunday's Dash and Bash, groups of co-workers from companies including Twitter, Google, Spectra Logic, and Ball Aerospace have been competing to raise the most money.

Twitter Boulder was the top fundraising team as of Wednesday, according to the YWCA website. "A creative fundraising bake sale resulted in $1,300 pushing this team past their total fundraising goal of $3,000," a post on the site states.

Individuals who would like participate can raise and donate $50 to receive a food and activities pass or $100 to receive the above and a Dash and Bash t-shirt for $100. The fundraising deadline is Friday.

In addition to the runs, the festivities will include music by reggae band The Alcapones and Vani Topkar's Student Dance Ensemble, and Colorado company Sparkfun Electronics will be operate a table in the "kid's zone" that will teach children how to make paper circuit boards.