New Year’s Day 5K finds a ‘resolution’ to keeping seniors safe after graduation

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Resolution Run Race Director Courtney Newman, left, with founder Gary Verhoon.
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Hillsborough High School Class of 2021 Project Graduation
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Resolution 5K Run & Walk supports Project Graduation in Hillsborough.PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE BAUMAN
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Resolution Run Race Director Courtney Newman, left, with founder Gary Verhoon.
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Hillsborough High School Class of 2021 Project Graduation
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Resolution 5K Run & Walk supports Project Graduation in Hillsborough.PHOTO COURTESY OF MICHELLE BAUMAN

Raising enough funding to keep more than 400 Hillsborough High School seniors off the roads on graduation night is no easy feat, and 21 years ago, Gary Verhoon knew he could combine his love for running and desire to start a new tradition in Hillsborough with a way to help.

He started the Resolution Run, a 5K held every New Year’s Day, with proceeds benefitting Hillsborough Project Graduation.

“My daughter went to Hillsborough High School and it seemed like a big mission that I knew I could help support,” Verhoon said in a prepared statement. “Knowing that the Resolution Run has been able to make a difference in the lives of our kids for all these years, while bringing our community together to help and support their health goals, has been really fulfilling.”

Despite being virtual this year, Race Director Courtney Newman confirmed that the event registered 395 participants across all ages and abilities. Runners and walkers were able to upload their time and pictures to the event website, showcasing the commitment of participants even during the global pandemic.

“Resolution Run has supported Project Graduation for 21 years, and is a big reason for our continued success in holding an inclusive event that is accessible to all Hillsborough High School seniors,” Karen Briegs, Project Graduation co-chair, said in the statement. “As a result of their donations this year alone, more than 30 seniors will be safely tucked away on one of the deadliest nights of the year for teen drinking and driving.”

As the event has grown, the number of local organizations the Resolution Run benefits has also diversified. This year, proceeds have also benefited Rock Steady Boxing, improving symptoms and quality of life in people with Parkinson’s disease; and the Hillsborough Food Bank.

To make a donation to Project Graduation, visit GoFundMe, Venmo (@HHS-PG) or Paypal.

For updates on Project Graduation, check Facebook and Instagram.

To volunteer or for questions about Project Graduation, reach out to Briegs or Michelle Bauman at HHSRaiderPG@gmail.com.

To Learn more about the Resolution Run, visit www.resolutionrun.org/