Rick Hunter has been treasurer for both the North Star Academy Parent Club and the Redwood City Education Foundation, the toughest volunteer job there is. But even more impressive and inspirational is the time he decided that the Peninsula needed a half marathon, and it should take place in Redwood City. Over the summer of 2011, Rick pulled together an inspired and inspirational planning team and by 8am, October 15, more than a thousand runners were lined and ready for the starter gun.
Since that day, Rick and his team have put on five OktobeRun events, which include a top tier half marathon, a family-friendly 5k fun run, and an exciting postrace expo. As a serious runner himself, Rick appreciates the value of the half marathon, but has a special passion for encouraging students to run. As part of this commitment, Rick founded and coached a middle school running club and coached on the City’s Ready-Set-Run afterschool running program. He has also ensured that OktobeRun is accessible to young runners.
“My race team and I have intentionally made sure the 5K race course is suitable for students,” he said. “We also reach out to schools in Redwood City and encourage them to send teams of students and teachers. Last year we were thrilled to have six schools represented. We have also offered scholarships in the past, and last year we reduced our youth fees across the board so kids from all income levels can run.”
OktobeRun also contributes directly to advancing and improving the education of students in the Redwood City School District, as proceeds from the race are donated to the Redwood City Education Foundation (RCEF). So far, the race has raised close to $350,000 to fund music and other critical programs provided by the Foundation.
“We are so amazingly lucky and deeply grateful to have Rick Hunter on our team,” said RCEF President Judie Gutierrez. “Between his service as our treasurer, a job I know from personal experience is incredibly demanding, we have OktobeRun, which is responsible for a big chunk of our budget every year. Plus we are able to add training for and running in OktobeRun as one of the ways the RCEF contributes to fitness opportunities for our students. Our motto is “fit students learn better!” and Rick’s work with OktobeRun has certainly resulted in many of our students becoming fitter and more ready to learn.”
Rick’s dedication, hard work, and passion motivate his dedicated planning team to set aside many hours each year to make OktobeRun happen. More than 125 volunteers each year also help with the dozens of tasks needed to run a safe and successful race. Long-time planning team member Kim Freitas noted, “Rick treats everyone with exceptional kindness and respect. He never hesitates to do a majority of the work himself, and remains calm and cheerful at all times. I am honored to work with him, and love being part of the OktobeRun team!”
In addition to volunteering in the education field, Rick as also served on the Board of the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, the Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Commission and currently sits on the Redwood City Planning Commission.
PO Box 3046
Redwood City, CA
Tax ID #94–2903141