Selma High students Sierra Sanders (left) and Aliyah Peterson (right) show off their artwork on Thursday after winning the Butterflies and Bridges Art Contest. (Josh Bergeron | Times-Journal)
Selma High students Sierra Sanders (left) and Aliyah Peterson (right) show off their artwork on Thursday after winning the Butterflies and Bridges Art Contest. (Josh Bergeron | Times-Journal)

Butterfly run to benefit Selma City School athletes

Published 10:29pm Tuesday, April 8, 2014

 When Selma City Schools Athletic Director Patrick Evans created the Butterflies and Bridges Run in 2007, his mission went far beyond raising money for the athletic department. Evans ventured into it with a vision to create a popular race that would attract people across the country.

The seventh annual Butterflies and Bridges Run scheduled for April 19 at Selma High School starting at 8 a.m. brings the event organizers and volunteers one step closer to reaching their ultimate goal.

“We know this can be something really good for Selma,” Evans said. “We don’t want everyone to just think this a race as something that we were just doing to raise money, but we are doing something, again, to make our city feel as if we can be as big as the Boston Marathon.”

Butterflies and Bridges was named in honor of Mallieve Breeding, a Selma native known as Madam Butterfly for her education work at local schools teaching students about butterflies, developing butterfly gardens and helping the city of Selma become known as the Butterfly Capital of the state.

This year the course starts in front of Selma High School on Broad Street before taking runners south toward historic downtown Selma.

The race in which 80 percent of the proceeds funds sports activities for Selma City Schools have grown drastically since it first began in 2007 with about 50 participants. After a few races, an art contest was added to the race to give students an opportunity to enter a drawing that showcases what the race means to them. The overall winner’s art is placed on the shirts handed out to each runner before the race.

“Let’s do an art contest and have the children participate and get them excited,” Evans said was his thought process when brainstorming a way to get more Selma City and Dallas County School students involved. “We noticed that they did get excited about drawing and showcasing their talents.”

Race organizer Bill Potter, who has been running for 10 years and volunteers with the Butterflies and Bridges Run, understands the importance of running.

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