On Tuesday, July 31, the community gathered in the Sequoia Conference Center to celebrate the accomplishments of Michael Davies-Hughes and Team Red Dragon for their participation in the Race Across America (RAAM). The race, recognized as the most challenging an arduous cycling competition in the world, spans 3,000 miles from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland and covered deserts, farmland, plains and mountains in freezing and 100+ degree temperatures.
Davies-Hughes, a member of the Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka, is the Assistant Superintendent for Educational Services for Eureka City Schools. His adventure was a personal goal but also an opportunity to bring awareness to the cycle of poverty and promote early literacy education in Humboldt County, something very important to him. He chose the Early Literacy Partners Program run through the Humboldt County Office of Education’s Decade of Difference Initiative as his sole beneficiary.
The Rotary Club of Southwest Eureka served as a conduit for donations and contributed funds raised through two of their signature events – Martinis By The Bay and the Steve Brodhag Memorial Golf Tournament. In addition to club contributions, the McLean Foundation provided a grant and countless businesses and individual members of the community provided monetary contributions.
In total, $30,000 was presented to the Humboldt County Office of Education to support early literacy efforts throughout Humboldt County.
Throughout the evening, Davies-Hughes shared stories from the journey and thanked his crew, his family and the many others who supported his efforts. “Amazing things can happen when we come together to help youth,” he stated.
Heidi Moore-Guynup, Assistant Superintendent for the Humboldt County Office of Education acknowledged his efforts and those throughout the community. “The community came together in a way that we don’t always see. Many of us became insomniacs throughout this journey and followed intently as the team reached each mile marker, traversed a new state, or posted an update from the road. On behalf of the Humboldt County Office of Education, we are so appreciative of the awareness and contributions made for the Early Literacy Partners Program. The impact that these funds will have on our students is immense.”
There will be a free training coming up for those interested in becoming an early literacy volunteer and support TK-2nd grade students one-on-one in reading or math. For more information about the program or to sign up for the training, please contact Olivia Kernen at 707-445-7007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.