Community Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration Offers Family Fun and Help for Local Nonprofits

Whether you come to walk in support of your favorite nonprofit organization or for ensuing fun, the 7th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration offers something for all ages. The celebration will feature solar vehicle races, ‘eco-carnival’ games, live animals, community networking, ‘green’ businesses, live music, and delicious, organic foods!

Planned for Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 am to 1:30 pm (walk-a-thon registration begins at 9:00 am and the walk, promptly at 10:00 am), Summit for the Planet is a free fundraising event to support local environmental and educational organizations.

“It’s much better than selling cooking dough or wrapping paper,” comments Pamela Blunden, MMS event coordinator and alumni parent. “Organizations are able to retain a higher percentage of the money raised, and it’s good for the environment. This format allows people of all ages to spend time together outdoors in a beautiful natural setting, while also raising money for a cause that is important to them!”

For nonprofit groups, determining how to successfully meet annual fundraising goals can be difficult and time-consuming– and frequently not a lot of fun. With the dual intent of putting the “fun”back in “fundraising” and bringing together other local nonprofit organizations, Mount Madonna School (MMS) is again hosting this annual community event – intended to make fundraising as easy as a walk in the park!

All nonprofits are invited to join in the Walk-a-thon. MMS will coordinate the event logistics, while participating groups each organize a team of walkers to walk for their organization, and their walkers, in turn, are urged to gather pledges of support.

Depending on the number of walkers and amount pledged to each walker, organizations will have the opportunity to cover a hefty portion of their annual fundraising needs – without the hassle and expense of running their own fundraiser! There is no charge for organizations to sign up and participate; and organizations keep 70% of what they raise in pledges, while 30% is used to offset the costs of organizing and running the event.

In talking with other schools and groups about fundraising, Blunden says she is repeatedly hearing how more and more families are steering away from having to participate in door-to-door sales. “With Summit for the Planet, walkers don’t have to go door to door! Instead they can utilize social media – or just make a phone call – to seek support from friends, family, or even grandma and grandpa on the East Coast. Pledging support is convenient and easy from any location via the Summit for the Planet website.”

Celebration participants will spotlight sustainable ‘eco-living’ and education, and represent a broad range of environmentally-focused businesses and nonprofits, from the Friends of the Sea Otter to Ceiba Charter to Sulphur Creek Nature Center, Silicon Valley Flex Academy, and the Bat Conservancy of Central California, Attendance at this annual event has grown to some 500 people of all ages, from across south Silicon Valley and the Monterey Bay areas.

The support of key sponsors is essential to this event. Event organizers are honored that numerous local businesses have offered support, including presenting sponsors, the Michael Lee Environmental Foundation and SunRidge Farms.

Things to know when you go:
7th annual Summit for the Planet Walk-a-thon and Earth Day Celebration, April 27 from 9:00am-1:30pm*. Hosted by Mount Madonna School, 491 Summit Road, Mount Madonna. Free event. For more information or to sponsor a walker, visit: and on Facebook at, or email Pamela Blunden at .

*Walk-a-thon participants must pre-register; registration begins at 9:00am; the walk begins at 10:00am.


Contact: Leigh Ann Clifton, Media & Public Relations,

Nestled among the redwoods on 355 mountaintop acres, Mount Madonna is a safe and nurturing college-preparatory school that supports students in becoming caring, self-aware and articulate critical thinkers, who are prepared to meet challenges with perseverance, creativity and integrity. The CAIS and WASC accredited program emphasizes academic excellence, creative self-expression and positive character development. Located on Summit Road between Gilroy and Watsonville.