Otter Run expands to include four Menlo Park schools this year

by Christine Keefer on February 19, 2013

2011 Otter Run

In the wake that followed the tragic events that happened at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a group of parents from Menlo Park got together to find a way to make their school community stronger.

“In any community, the schools are the anchor that ties it all together,” explains Jody Buckley, Co-President of the Menlo Park City School District PTO Council. “Ensuring that our community is tight, supportive, and working together leads to a safer community for all of our students and their families.”

Buckley, along with a group of parents from the Encinal, Laurel, Oak Knoll and Hillview schools are working together to do something about growing that idea. They are in the midst of pulling together a district-wide fundraiser  family fun run that will not only raise money for the four schools that serve over 2,791 students, but also bring the Menlo Park community together.

Last year a record of over 700 racers turned out for the Oak Knoll Otter Run – a neighborhood family run and 5K race through the streets of West Menlo Park near Oak Knoll. This year, the goal is to expand this effort and include Encinal, Laurel Elementary and Hillview Middle School.

“We are looking forward to expanding this effort beyond our school this year.” Vice Principal Kristen Gracia, from Oak Knoll said. “One of our district core values is partnership. We believe that when we have strong partnership among students, staff, parents, and the community, we can create more connections and provide more opportunities to our students. This is an opportunity for our community to build the partnership we value.”

The aRe yoU iN Family Fun Run is scheduled this year for June 2, 2013 and proceeds for the race will go back to the schools. The planning team for the race is seeking business sponsorships to support these efforts. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities please contact Steve Cadigan via email to or by phone (650) 454-4234.

Photo of 2011 Otter Run by Linda Hubbard

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