The sounds of musical instruments — mainly flutes — could be heard throughout Tom Tudek Memorial Park Saturday as runners paced through the park, raising money for Centre Volunteers in Medicine and Doctors Without Borders.
“There’s no start gun, but flutes play ‘Flight of the Bumblebee’ to get everyone on their way,” Flutopia 5K organizer and professional flutist Cathy Herrera said.
Flutopia 5K is an annual benefit concert and race that brings runners and musicians together.
Flutopia 5K included 11 ensembles
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This year, 11 ensembles were stationed throughout the park to serenade people as they ran or walked along the path.
“It’s really exciting, because this is the most ensembles we’ve ever had,” Herrera said.
Runners like Geraldine Schaeffer and her son Matthew Schaeffer said they’re typically most motivated by modern, upbeat music — but were pleasantly surprised by Saturday’s traditional ballads and classical pieces.
“I started with my headphones in, and ended up taking them out,” Matthew Schaeffer said.
He said his mom, “slapped him in the arm” during their run and encouraged him to take off the earphones.
It’s unique because even though it’s not the kind I’d normally listen to when I workout, it was still kind of motivating because I wanted to get to the next musician or band so I’d run a little faster to hear what was next.
Matt Schaeffer, participant
“She said, ‘There’s music right here,’ ” Matthew Schaeffer said. “It’s unique because even though it’s not the kind I’d normally listen to when I workout, it was still kind of motivating because I wanted to get to the next musician or band so I’d run a little faster to hear what was next.”
Geraldine Schaeffer said she and her son participate in at least one summer race together each year.
“We never did this one before, and heard a lot of good about it and thought it would be a good way to give back and get a run in together,” she said.
Last year, the event raised about $2,500 for CVIM and $300 for Doctors without Borders.
CVIM is a Centre County-based organization that provides medical and dental care for people living or working in the county who don’t have access to the medical services they need.
It’s really hard to set a goal. ... We’d like to surpass what we raised last year, but it’s really just a gift from the heart
Cathy Herrera, event organizer
Any amount of money raised during Flutopia is “a gift from the heart,” Herrera said.
Herrera said she came up with the idea for the event more than five years ago, inspired by women in the medical field who she knows through church and Bible study.
“I admire their work and want to help bring an event locally that supports that,” she said.
The event annually attracts about 170 to 200 people.