Benefit runs help students reach the academic finish line.
Jonathan Leatt, an 11-year-old Summerfield resident and Gilbert McNeal student, recorded an impressive number in winning the open division of the Take Stock 5K run in a personal-best 18:28 on March 4.
But another number was even more important at Main Street at Lakewood Ranch.
Take Stock Executive Director Jamie Serino said more than 1,700 participants had signed up for the event and that number was climbing as race time approached. Race officials expected a record crowd.
The ninth annual event, which features 5K, 10K and children's fun runs, presented scholarships to five schools, including East County's R. Dan Nolan Middle School, for signing up 300 or more participants. Each school will present the scholarship to the student of its choice.
All of the funds raised benefit Take Stock in Children of Manatee County and support its scholarship and mentorship program.
Serino said the event is important in raising community awareness about Take Stock's mission.
The 10K race was won by Bradenton's Corey Peyerk, 34, in 35.49.