Wilton middle school and the running of the colors

— Photos by Erik Trautmann/Hearts Connecticut Media

Despite an early forecast of rain, the fourth annual Color for the Council fundraiser was a success.
On Thursday, May 2 families from around Wilton gathered at Middlebrook School to participate in the fundraiser. The annual event is a fun run for all ages and fitness abilities. Along the route, participants pass through vibrant color zones creating a colorful experience for all involved.
The Color Run raises money for Wilton Youth Council programs like the Youth-to-Youth club at Middlebrook. Wilton Youth Council Executive Director Genevieve Eason said the inspiration for the event came from the kids. Four years ago while playing kickball students noticed infield dirt collecting on their clothes.
“Kids started saying it looked like they had been in a color run,” Eason said.
From there students brought the idea to Tanya Leonard, leader of the Youth-to-Youth club. Without any expectations or deadlines, the seventh grade physical education class came together to create an event all could enjoy.
“They told (Leonard) they wanted to do a color run and they ran with it,” Eason said.
Since the beginning of the color run more corporate sponsors have become involved, she said. The community has also continued to come out and support the event. This year around 120 kids signed up to participate.
The Youth-to-Youth club sponsors the fundraising event each year. The club has been a large part of the continued success for the event, Eason said.
“The kids in her club are out there talking to their friends about it,” she said. “It develops some buzz in the school and gets people wanting to participate.”
Eason said she hopes the color run can be a way to show kids fun experiences that don’t involve substance use.
“It’s fitness and it’s good substance-free fun,” Eason said. “It’s exhilarating, it’s a great time and people love it.”