Run on the Wilder Side Coming
By DAVID DIERKS
Come out Sept. 3 to “Run on the Wilder Side” and help fund critical renovations of the Orinda Community Center Park. The all-ages 5K and one mile run/walk is sponsored by the Orinda Parks & Recreation Foundation (OPRF) and starts at the Wilder Art and Garden Center. The 5k run begins at 8 a.m. and the one mile run at 8:40 a.m. “This is our first annual run, and it’s kicking off a fundraising drive for the Community Center Park renovation,” says OPRF president Carolyn Mills. Sponsors include Safeway, Diablo Foods and GU Energy Labs. To register for the run, visit www.oprfoundation.org.
Plans for renovating the Community Center Park are in development. They currently include adding new restrooms, expanding existing restrooms, rebuilding the gazebo into a larger bandstand, relocating the toddler and junior playground areas and adding senior exercise equipment near the tennis courts.
OPRF has raised $2 million for Orinda Park and Recreation facilities and services since starting in 1975. “This year we’ve granted funds to 21 different organizations for 30 different activities and purposes totaling $57,400,” says Mills. “Most of our funds come from members of the foundation.” Some of OPRF’s past projects include Community Center improvements, raising $600,000 to purchase 111-acre Orinda Oaks Open Space Preserve, raising funds for the Lamorinda Skate Park, purchase of public art through the Art in Public Places Committee, Wilder Sports Field electronic scoreboard (in collaboration with Orinda Rotary Club and Orinda Community Foundation – OCF), Creek restoration projects and summer concerts and movies in the park. Current OPRF projects include spearheading the purchase and installation of defibrillators at all outdoor sports fields, upgrading park signage, renovating athletic fields and creating a mini-park at Orinda’s entrance.
Mills invites Board participation: “It’s not a time-consuming effort, but we’re always looking for folks who would like to be involved in helping us direct where our monies are going.” OPRF funds support The Orinda Association’s 4th of July parade and festivities, Doggone Fun Fest, programs for teens organized by the Orinda Teen Council, Pacific Chamber Symphony weekday performances at Orinda schools, field trips for seniors organized by Orinda Seniors, Miramonte Music Department (choir and jazz band), music programs at the Lamorinda Adult Respite Care facility, and OCF’s Norcal Kids Triathlon. OPRF also supports Larmorinda Arts Council, Orinda Historical Society, Orinda Junior Women’s Club, Orinda-Tabor Sister City Foundation, Orinda Library’s Summer Reading and Paws-to-Read programs and four garden clubs in Lamorinda.
For more information and/or to register for the run, visit www.oprfoundation.org or call Mills at 925-254-5292. The OPRF Board meets on the 3rd Thursday of each month at 8:30 a.m. Visit the calendar on the group’s website for location.