789 Wildcat Way, Brea, CA 92620
est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

est. 1930

The Wildcat

$50,000 Raised at Brea 8K Classic For BOHS Arts Programs

Issabella Garcia
BOHS juniors Branden Pineda and Zander Ramirez, and senior Demitri Garcia, participate in the Brea 8K Classic on Feb. 25. The annual race, organized by parent volunteers from the BOHS instrumental music, choir, and color guard booster clubs, raised $50,000 for the Wildcat Entertainment Corps and choir programs.

As Alicia Montano, junior, and member of United Choirs of Brea, hit the final note of the “Star Spangled Banner,” 1,862 runners and walkers surged across the start line at the 31st annual Brea 8K Classic on Feb. 25. 

The Brea 8K, organized by parent volunteers from the BOHS instrumental music, choir, and color guard booster clubs, is an annual fundraiser for the Wildcat Entertainment Corps and choir to fund coaches, equipment, instrument repair, uniforms, and competition fees.

The one-day race raised $50,000 for the BOHS programs, $42,000 more than the $8,000 raised in 2023. 

“It takes over $150,000 to support the music programs at BOHS each year and the [Brea 8K Classic] is the biggest fundraiser we have. We are so appreciative of the support the community,” Elizabeth Fuchs, band booster president, said.

The event also brought together over 400 volunteers, including BOHS students from band, color guard, show choir, National Honor Society (NHS), and athletics. Members of the Brea police and fire departments were stationed along the course for safety.

Open Mixed division results. (Brea 8K Classic)

Amanda Simental, senior and band council president, arrived at the event with fellow volunteers at 3 a.m. to help set up registration booths and the race course. Later that morning, she played cadences with drumline to support the runners during the race. “I’m glad I was able to make such a significant impact on the music program while still having fun with friends,” she said.

Since the first Brea 8K in 1992, where 68 people took to the streets, the event has grown into a “favorite community event” that “continues to benefit the students of [the] city’s only comprehensive high school.” 

“[There were] a lot of people running, which shows the magnitude of the event,” Sean Cronin, senior and event volunteer, said. By talking to police officers while assisting as a traffic guard along the course, he felt “the event really brought everyone in the community together.”

Throughout the 4.97-mile course, from the start line at Birch Street to the finish line at the Brea Mall, community members lined the route to cheer participants on.

While Nicole Baughman-Collinge, math teacher, was struggling to run uphill during the first mile, “A gentleman with gray hair, [who was] definitely older than me, said, ‘you can make it,’ and it made me feel better.” Cheering students also “made [her] not want to walk,” but jog instead.

“A bunch of my band friends [were] cheering me on, and they helped me get faster,” Jonathan Kwon, freshman, said. Kwon, who also competes on the varsity cross country and track and field teams, finished the race in 29:29 in the 14-18 age group team division with fellow runners Matthew Choi and Zander Ramirez, juniors, and Mia Luna, freshman.

At the mile four marker, members of Friends Church lined the route with “speed boost” posters to encourage runners at the final stretch. 

The race, “which included such diversity amongst the participants,” according to Fuchs, included participants ranging in skill level from children accompanied by parents to Team USA track and field runners. And for the first time, Ainsley’s Angels, an organization that enables people with disabilities to participate as an “Angel Rider,” assisted by a custom-fitted chair and an “Angel Runner,” participated.

“Watching [Ainsley’s Angels participants] cross the finish line was inspiring and filled my heart with joy,” April Samuelson (’92), choir booster club president, said.

The event really brought everyone in the community together.

— Sean Cronin, senior

At the end of the race, runners were welcomed by the aroma of pizza, coffee, and cakes supplied by 16 food vendors who handed out samples at the finish line food court. 

“I could smell the pizza from the last 100 meters of the race,” Issabella Garcia, freshman and BOHS cross country runner, said.

Corona del Mar’s Cal Coast Track Club placed first in the Open Mixed division with a time of 1:25:14, more than three minutes ahead of second place finisher, Hounds Track Club.

40 corporate sponsors and members of the BOHS football team also greeted racers at the finish line.

BOUSD school board members Paul Ruiz, president, Deana Miller, trustee, and Carrie Flanders, vice president, distributed foot-shaped finisher medals to participants.

Simental, who has participated in Brea bands for the past eight years, said, “I’m excited to know that even after I graduate, this annual event will continue to benefit the music programs at BOHS.” 

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About the Contributors
Ellen Kim
Ellen Kim, Editor-in-Chief
Ellen Kim, senior, has been a member of the newspaper staff since her freshman year and is excited to lead the staff as Editor-in-Chief. Alongside her leadership in the Wildcat, Ellen is involved in ASB as Senior Class President and can be spotted in many clubs and organizations across campus including HOSA, Mubotics, Orchestra, and FTOC. Outside of school, Ellen can be found learning the ukulele, listening to her favorite pop tunes, or playing a competitive round of Uno. Ellen has published over 35 pieces for the Wildcat and is thrilled to create lots more during her final year at BOHS.
Issabella Garcia
Issabella Garcia, Photographer
Issabella Garcia, freshman, is involved in softball and cross country. Her goal this year is to get straight A’s and to be involved in school clubs and sports. She wants to major in journalism and go to Stanford University to major in journalism and digital media. During her free time she likes to listen to music, run, and play with her dog, Skye.
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