First Impressions to organize Sunday’s Tot Trot | SteamboatToday.com

First Impressions to organize Sunday’s Tot Trot

Children are asked to bring pennies for 'I Cent a Student to College' program

Autumn Phillips

The Tot Trot runners may not notice, but the site for the 10-year-old race has changed and so has the organizing agency.

Traditionally, the Tot Trot, a fun race for children 8 and younger, has been held at Sundance Plaza in conjunction with the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s Run for Literacy, a seven-mile and 5K run and race-walk that closes the Steamboat Springs Running Series. This year, the Pilot & Today’s races will be held Sunday morning at the Pilot & Today building, 1901 Curve Plaza. The Tot Trot is moving to the newspaper building, too.

Another big change is that First Impressions — not Kinderhaus Family Center — will organize the children’s run.

When Kinderhaus shut its doors last month for financial reasons, owner Diane Carter didn’t want the Tot Trot tradition to end. She started the race 10 years ago to instill a sense of community in children. The runners were instructed to bring pennies to the race.

The pennies go into jars, and throughout the year, children would continue to add pennies to the jars. At the end of the year, the pennies were given to a high school senior as part of a scholarship called, “I Cent a Sailor to College.”

Carter introduced the children to high school students, she said. “We would train with the cross country team in the fall. We met with them once a week, and they would run around the track with us.

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“We would go to the homecoming parade and to soccer games and basketball games. Whatever we could do to make that connection between the older and younger kids.”

When Kinderhaus closed, Carter went to First Impres-sions to ask if the nonprofit organization would take over the race.

“It was not a hard sell,” she said. “They accepted as soon as I mentioned it.”

The only change under First Impressions is the name and geographical availability of the scholarship. Pennies raised will be given under the name, “I Cent a Student to College,” and high school seniors from Routt County will be eligible.

The pennies add up, Carter said. Over the course of the year, the children generally amass between $300 and $500.

“It makes the kids feel good and it makes me feel good that this is continuing,” she said.

The Tot Trot is set for 10:45 a.m. Sunday at the Steamboat Pilot & Today building. The children will run on the sidewalk circling the building, a distance of about one-third of a mile.

The Pilot & Today’s annual Run for Literacy begins with registration at 8:30 a.m. The seven-mile race begins at 9:30 a.m. with the 5K starting 10 minutes later.

— To reach Autumn Phillips call 871-4210

or e-mail aphillips@steamboatpilot.com