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Folsom Firecracker Run puts feet on streets to aid charities

By: Matt Long, Folsom Lake Entertainer
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FOLSOM CA - Growing up in San Ramon, Todd Drybread knew every year before setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July that he?d get a good run in earlier in the day. Years later in Folsom, Drybread realized that aside from the annual rodeo in the evening there wasn?t much going on in Folsom. Through his efforts, Drybread started the Folsom Firecracker Family Fun Run in 2009. This year?s event will be the fourth annual run. ?Growing up in San Ramon, the Fourth of July run was huge and the whole city would show up and it was a lot of fun,? Drybread said. ?It was a great thing and I realized nothing was going on here in Folsom in the morning so I thought a run would be a good opportunity to bring more awareness to charities, much in the same way we do for the Turkey Trot. It?s something fun to do as a whole family and that?s the purpose, to get everyone out together.? The run is held predominately on the bike trails surrounding Lake Natoma, making for a scenic run on top of it being good exercise for the participants. ?This is my favorite course,? Drybread said. ?It?s beautiful to run along the trails of Lake Natoma. It?s a different atmosphere than the Turkey Trot. It?s warm and people stick around afterwards and have a good time.? The run consistently draws about 700 runners and Drybread hopes with this year?s run, being in the middle of the week, might increase that number a bit. An increase in the number of runners would also increase the amount of money raised for the beneficiaries. About $4,000 was raised last year. This year?s beneficiaries include The Grace Foundation, P.A.R.T.Y. (Prevent Alcohol and Risk-Related Trauma in Youth), Friends of the Folsom Library, the Sacramento Sheriff?s Toy Project, Sierra Families Forever and the Mexican Orphan Mission. The Grace Foundation, located in El Dorado Hills, is a non-profit organization that provides care for abused and neglected animals. P.A.R.T.Y.?s mission is to promote injury prevention through reality education, enabling youth to recognize risk and make informed choices about activities and behaviors. The Friends of the Folsom Library is a non-profit organization advocating and promoting the library. The Sacramento Sheriff?s Toy Project features the building of toys for less fortunate children. The Sierra Forever Families focuses on finding and nurturing permanent homes for children, while the Mexican Orphan Mission uses 100 percent of the donations for food and supplies for several different organizations in Northern Mexico that receive no financial support from the Mexican government. Participants in the run can decide where their money goes. ?I think the run is fantastic,? said Jeanne Warr, director of operations at The Grace Foundation. ?With the crush of the Susanville horses we took on earlier this year, we?ve had 11 foals so far with four or five left to go and we?re in the throes of being here 24/7. ?Every extra dime we have is going to care for those horses. The community?s support means the world to us because without it we wouldn?t be able to do what we do.? For more information on the run, visit folsomfirecracker.com. * * * Folsom Firecracker Family Fun Run What:?5K run/walk, 10K run When:?8 a.m., July 4 Where: Lake Natoma Bike Trails, 145 Parkshore Drive, Folsom Info: folsomfirecracker.com