Return to Headlines

Support Gilles-Sweet Elementary at the 9th annual Derby Dash on May 18

Kids and adult cross the finish line at the Derby DashApril 18, 2024


Like other annual springtime traditions, such as baseball, rain showers, and blooming flowers, another Fairview Park tradition returns this May.

The ninth annual Gilles-Sweet Derby Dash will be held at the James B. Daley stadium on the Fairview High School/Mayer Middle School campus on Saturday, May 18. This family-friendly event begins with a 1-mile fun run/walk at 8:30 AM, followed by a 5K race at 9:00 AM. 

This community fundraising event benefits students and programs at Gilles-Sweet Elementary School. 

“It could be a field trip, service learning project supplies, an assembly, technology or maybe flexible seating for a classroom,” Gilles-Sweet Elementary Principal Matt Krivak explained. “For  example, right now, the computer lab has all flexible seating and all of those were purchased with Derby Dash proceeds.”

Since starting in 2014, the Derby Dash has raised over $100,000 in funds for the school.

“The amount that is not used is saved from year to year,” Krivak added. “The long-term goal is to use those funds to help renovate the Gilles-Sweet playground.”

Everyone in the community is invited to participate. Race winners are awarded medals in age groups ranging from 10 and under to 70 and over.

“We’ve got a family plan, so they get a discount if they sign up with a family of four,” Allison Klodnick, Gilles-Sweet physical education teacher and Derby Dash organizer said. “This year, we are in the Hermes Road Race Series, which is a big deal. Runners from all different cities try to complete the series, so we’re hoping to get some new faces coming into Fairview to run the race.”

Besides the race, the Derby Dash has plenty of activities for all family members to enjoy.

“There will be face painting and a bounce house,” Klodnick said. “We’ll have some snacks for free, like bananas and water. We’re hoping Raising Canes is going to come again and have free lemonade. We have a bunch of raffle baskets. We’ll also have a part where people can donate to the John C. Haney Foundation.”

“I think the course is really nice because it starts at the middle school/high school and ends there on the football field,” Krivak added. “The route takes them through Bain Park between [West] 210 and 220. That’s some nice scenery.”

According to Krivak, the success of the Derby Dash over the years has created their “own little Summerfest,” another hugely successful summer community event in the city. 

Both Krivak and Klodnick appreciate the continued support from Fairview Park residents and staff at Gilles-Sweet.

“It says a lot about the community that when you put an opportunity out there, the community embraces it,” Klodnick said. “The families embrace it and show up, and the staff's support is huge.”

For more information and to sign up for the Derby Dash, visit