Cross Country saved at Jacksonville, over $60,000 raised

07/26/2011 - 18:06

A fund drive to save cross country programs in 17 Duval County, Florida high schools, has met success with over $60,000 raised toward an Aug. 1 goal of $70,000.

“We are very happy to announce that through your generous support cross country will be happening this year in our Duval Public High Schools,” said Doug Alred of 1st Place Sports, which has led the drive. “We have currently raised over $60,000 through donations and events,” he said, adding, “We thank you for supporting the cause and our stores. I am very proud we were able to accomplish this fundraiser in such a short time.”

Alred and his wife, Jane, started the drive with a $10,000 donation and added $5,500 from shoe sales at the four stores. A cross country race was held that raised $4,638. Citizens made numerous donations and generous donations were made by the Jacksonville Track Club, the Florida Striders Track Club, and the Gulf Winds Track Club.

To check donations raised, the names of those who have contributed, and to make a donation and have your name added to the list of donors, go to

Cross country programs and several other sports had been eliminated due to cuts in education spending in Duval County. Money raised goes to coaching stipends in the cross country programs.

High school students helped raise funds by selling items, including shirts, and by volunteering at events.

“We have been very fortunate,” said Doug Alred, adding, “Lots of support from Jacksonville and also supporters from outside our city. We will have the Florida Blue 5K Stadium Run (at Jacksonville Jaguars’ stadium) coming up Aug. 13 to help raise funds all all affected sports (that were initially eliminated). The ‘Stadium Challenge’ is a very unique event. The participants will run around the stadium, up and down the ramps, around the upper decks, and then finish with a loop around the football field. It should be lots of fun. All finishers will get medals,” he said.

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