On March 14, one of the largest local events since the world-wide pandemic began took place in downtown Prineville – the annual Paddy Pint Run!
After having to convert to a virtual race in 2020, the Paddy Pint team spent months working on various plans that would enable us to host an event regardless as to what level of COVID restriction we were in. As the race date came closer, we were hearing that the level was increasing and we would be restricted to zones with no more than 50 people in each. With that, we switched the race from one big run with all participating at once, to waves of 50 people that were 15 minutes apart over 3 hours. Our goal was to show people that we could have an in-person event, while following COVID guidelines, and keeping everyone safe. Only days before the actual race, Crook County dropped to the lowest risk level, allowing us the freedom to remove the zoning restriction and guaranteeing an in-person event!
On a beautiful Sunday afternoon, we saw over 400 people hit the downtown streets dressed in their favorite green ensembles. This registration number was the second largest race in our event history! A fun-loving race with kids in strollers, youth on scooters, lots of dogs, and even a grown man sporting a green plastic tablecloth cape and hand-pulling a carriage with his kiddos in it (yes, Seth Crawford, you have made us famous in the race world for that!). Our town sure knows how to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day!
We entered this event with a conservative budget not knowing if the support would be there this year. We ended the event amazed at the sponsor, race, and community support. Our committee does this event solely with the intention to give back to the community. The traditional charity that we support is the Dental Foundation of Oregon’s Tooth Taxi. This 38’ bus has been turned into a state-of-the-art dental office which provides free dental care to uninsured and underserved children. When they spend a week in Crook County, they provide nearly $30,000 of dental screenings, cleanings, sealants, x-rays, fillings, minor surgery, and oral health education. Each child served receives a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, and brushing timer. The school also received books and educational materials that teachers can use in their classrooms.
This year, the committee also decided to support the Crook County Parks and Recreation Foundation’s Happy Healthy Hearts program. This program works to remove financial barriers from people being able to participate in healthy activities which stimulate the body, soul and spirit. Providing small grants up to $75 for each qualified individual per season (up to three times per year), this can mean the difference between an adult or child from exploring healthy activities or not engaging in healthy behavior. This program is 100% supported through generous donations from people in our community who want to be a blessing to others.
Over the years, the Paddy Pint Run has funded physical education programs at local elementary school and provided grant support to Crook County On The Move programs. As the event grows, we expect to have more funding to provide to worthwhile programs that assist with bettering the health of our local youth. Even if you were unable to participate in the Paddy Pint Run this year, we encourage you to support our selected programs. A donation to the Happy Healthy Hearts program can be made anytime through our local Crook County Parks and Recreation office located at 296 S Main Street. Contributions to the Tooth Taxi can be sent to the Dental Foundation of Oregon at 8699 SW Sun Place, Wilsonville, OR 97070 (note that it is for the Tooth Taxi).
The Paddy Pint Planning team is already working on our 2022 race! Relocating the whole event to Pioneer Park was a successful change, as well as adding the community wide Scavenger Hunt and on-the-course Treasure Hunt. We always welcome new volunteers and ideas on how to continue improving and growing the largest fun run race in Crook County. For more information or suggestions, contact Brandi Ebner, Crook County Foundation Executive Director at 541-362-1210 or email email@example.com.