More than 100 adults and children gathered in Pratt to run, have fun and raise money for special education in south-central Kansas.

Special education students, teachers and administration got a financial boost from those who came out on a sunny, clear Saturday morning in Pratt to participate in the South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative’s Walk for Hope. The run/walk contest, silent auction and a variety of kid-centered activities took place on the Greenback’s Zerger Field at the high school Saturday.

“We had 87 pre-registered to run or walk and ended up with 112 kids and adults taking part in the 5K,” said co-leader of the event Lindsay Dvorak.

One dog, a vizsla named Solo, ran the whole race with her owner Ryan Ford. This was not her first race but it was apparent she en- joyed every minute of it.

“She loves being out here with people and doing this,” Ford said.

This was the first time out of the starting gate for a 5K Walk for Hope to benefit lo- cal special education. SCKSEC services 15 school districts in seven counties, including Pratt, Kingman, Harper and Barber. Many of those districts contributed themed baskets full of special goodies for silent auction bidders at Saturday’s Walk for Hope.

“Our highest selling basket went for $125. It was donated by Cunningham with a barbecue grill and all the necessities that go along with that,” Dvorak said. “We had many outstanding baskets of cool things.”

Some of those baskets contained K-State themed items, summer fun collections, personal care items, even a hand-painted, wood- en barn quilt square.

Childrens’ activities in the infield included large bubble blowing, sand-bag tosses and several length-of- the-field races. As runners came in the northwest gates onto the running track to finish the final leg of their race, often children or adults escorted them down the track to the balloon- framed finish line.

“It was a fun-filled day,” Dvorak said. “We raised more than $1,000 on the silent auction baskets, we had donations a little over $1,000 plus we had entry fees. I’d say it was a success.”

The Travis and Traci Crow family of Pratt found it to be a fun way to get out and support those who often support their son, Kendrix, who benefits from SCKSEC services. Not only did Traci run in the race as a competitor, Travis, Rayden (their daughter) and son Kendrix escorted sev- eral more runners in the gates and to the finish line.

There were enough smiles, laughter, medals and cold water bottles to go around for everyone.

The mission of South Central Kansas Special Education Cooperative is to provide special education and related services to eligible children and assist each member district in their mission. The SCKSEC administration is commit- ted to helping foster environments in which students will learn most effectively.

In its history, SCKSEC has grown from a staff of forty-four to a staff of three hundred eighty. Currently fourteen hundred students in seven counties with 15 school districts benefit from these services.