Sneakers and Sirens raises more money than ever before

By Ian Davis-Leonard | Jun 27, 2018
Photo by: Ian Davis-Leonard Each race competitor received a Sneakers and Sirens award medal for finishing the third running of the event.

The grounds of Kamiak High School began to buzz as early as 7 a.m. Saturday, June 23, and by 9 a.m. there was a palpable feeling of excitement as the start of the Sneakers and Sirens 5k/10k neared.

Event organizer Penny Kellam spoke over the throng of people announcing that the third-ever showcasing of Sneakers and Sirens had raised more than $2,600 for a pair of local charities chosen by Mukilteo’s first responders.

After waiting patiently, the event participants slowly moved toward the starting line, waiting for Kellam’s OK to begin the race.

With the word passed down, the runners, walkers and joggers were off, disembarking on their 5k or 10k journeys.

Upon their return to the high school, racers were met with applause and a medal commemorating their participation in the 2018 Sneakers and Sirens run.

During registration, racers had the choice of sponsoring either the Mukilteo Police Department and their chosen charity of Special Olympics Washington or the Mukilteo Fire Department and their chosen Code 4 Northwest.

“It speaks a lot about the city and the people here that they are willing to support charities that are important to their community and their first responders,” Assistant Police Chief Glen Koen said. “Particularly on a cool, rainy day like this for people to come out and participate in the run is really great.”

Koen, who accepted the check on behalf of the Mukilteo Police Department and Special Olympics Washington, watched from the race’s finish line, congratulating runners as they crossed and received their medals.

“Since all these good people took their time and gave their money to be a part of the event, I thought it was important to be here and thank them for everything they’ve done to help support our efforts to support Special Olympics,” he said.

According to Koen, the decision to support Special Olympics Washington predated his time at Mukilteo PD, but he said the organization is a worthwhile cause that law enforcement nationwide has a long history of supporting.

Money raised by racers will go toward Special Olympics Washington’s efforts to provide athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities.

The fire department chose to support Code 4 Northwest this year. Code 4 helps first responders in Washington state receive services and resources when they are experiencing times of crisis.

Kellam was told by members of the department that Code 4 Northwest was an important resource for Mukilteo’s first responders in dealing with the after-effects of recent tragedies that have rocked the city.

Both nonprofits will receive a check for $1,336.85 in the name of the city’s first responders.

This was the third running of the Sneakers and Sirens event, which has become an annual event in Mukilteo.

“We are growing every year. That was more runners than we had last year and the dollars have definitely grown this year,” Kellam said.

With this year’s run now in the rearview mirror, registration for next year’s 4th annual Sneakers and Sirens event will open within the upcoming weeks at

“The event is such a perfect package,” Kellam said. “It’s activity, it’s family and it is giving back.”

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