A group of devoted parents — determined to see the Spirit Run see its 28th year — has saved the run that seemed doomed a few months ago.
Now called the Newport-Mesa Spirit Run, the event no longer will be organized by the five elementary schools that feed into Corona del Mar High School, but by a newly formed nonprofit.
"We heard it wouldn't take place if somebody didn't do something," said Diane Daruty, a parent who led the efforts to revitalize the Spirit Run. "We are just trying to keep it alive."
Daruty came up with the idea to change the focus from a fundraiser for five schools to a community event that will involve students throughout the Newport-Mesa Unified School District.
The Spirit Run, which winds on a course around Fashion Island, previously was organized by and raised money for Harbor View, Andersen, Eastbluff, Newport Coast and Lincoln elementary schools. Each school was responsible for $20,000 in sponsorship money to cover the costs of running the event. But schools saw dwindling returns despite hundreds of volunteer hours, leading all but Eastbluff to decide this fall to drop out.