H.O.P.E. Color Run Continues Tradition

LYNDON - Saturday marked the return of H.O.P.E.'s annual Color Run fundraiser after a three-year hiatus. Organizers estimate that 80 community members, adults and children, came out to run one of the courses--some new faces and some returners.

Richard Ferland went on a walk around Lyndon the morning of the face. They told News7 that someone recognized them and asked if they could help throw color at the runners this year. Ferland said yes, and afterward, walked some of the course themselves. "It was the best thing I could've done on my Saturday morning," they said.

Many Lyndon Institute students also volunteered at the event, including Piper Durand. "It was an amazing experience; getting to throw color at people and cheering them on," she said. This was Durand's first color run, and when asked if she'd do it again, she said yes.

For others who came out to Bandstand Park for the race, this wasn't their first color run. Lyndon resident Sarah Hinkley used to run in high school and says that H.O.P.E.'s annual event is a great way for her to keep running now. She told News7 she has done the color run a few times in the past. "It's fun! You get the colors, you get the camaraderie, and it supports a good cause," she said.

Haley Caplan has been involved in every color run H.O.P.E. has put on since the beginning. When she was a student at Northern Vermont University - Lyndon, then Lyndon State College, she ran the event. Since graduation, Caplan has worked with H.O.P.E., currently as the store manager, and has helped organize the race. She said it means a lot to be able to host the color run again this year. "With COVID and everything, there hasn't been a lot of stuff going on in the community," Caplan admitted. She was excited to see families come out and be able to spend time together at this kind of community event.

The color run is H.O.P.E.'s largest fundraiser for their backpack program. H.O.P.E. works with local schools to provide food for children and their families on weekends who may be facing insecurities. Caplan says all proceeds from the event go to help fund this program, but that their work isn't done. "The holidays are coming. There's a lot of stuff that we're going to be doing for the community."