It's a Sprint to the Finish Line

In Scripture, Paul frequently compares living the Christ-filled life to running a race. Taking that analogy seriously as we sprint for the finish line of our original $6.1 million capital campaign, Columbia (Wash.) Adventist Academy's mascot, Kody the Kodiak bear, emerged from a year-long hibernation (in spite of delayed spring weather) in preparation for March 13 and his second-annual "waddling" of the Portland Shamrock Run. The run not only became a focus for CAA fundraising but was also a benefit for the Doernbecker Children's Hospital in Portland, Ore.

With all the rain and the lingering cold weather that continued to haunt us, it wasn't easy getting back into shape in the Northwest, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easily. Last year, Kody ran with the encouragement of two students and a staff member, raising $104,000 for the building fund. This year, nine students, three staff members and friends, a parent, and a grandparent ran with Kody. When asked why he chose to participate by running and fundraising, Gregory Salsbery, a CAA senior, said, "I really enjoy running and I like helping our school, so being involved fits perfectly for me." Matthew Butte, CAA principal, said that his goal was to have the event bring in more than $100,000 with the help of the community. While the event actually raised just under $50,000, that could mean a possible $100,000, as an anonymous donor has pledged $250,000, matching all funds and pledges received for the building fund conditional on a total of $250,000 having been raised by the end of April. Peggy Prahl, CAA board chair and mother of a CAA alum and current junior, said, "I love it when the students come together as a team and catch a vision that focuses on the larger community in addition to their school." Prahl continued by sharing she never had an academy experience and doesn't even remember who her high school principal was. She concluded by saying, "The positive influence the principal, teachers and kids at CAA have on each other is amazing and will last a lifetime."

As the training for the 5-K run culminated in significant funding for the school, we realize that as a school, the "training" of our students is of highest importance in accomplishing our goals. Those goals are to reflect Christ and to see God's character in all academic disciplines. In 2011, we hope to graduate 33 students who have realized those goals as well as to graduate a capital campaign that has reached completion. As Paul said, "Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of [our] faith."

May 01, 2011 / Oregon Conference