Funds raised from a race held in memory of a fallen Northern York County Regional Police officer is helping Spring Grove Area High School students become better drivers.
The more than $50,000 raised from the annual Officer David Tome 5K Race not only jump started the school's drivers' education program, but was also used to buy a driving simulator.
"At the time of his death, we didn't have drivers' ed," said Lisa Smith, spokeswoman for the district.
The 31-year-old Tome, who was a Spring Grove graduate, was investigating a fatal crash in Franklin Township in October 2008 when he was struck and killed by an SUV driven by Joanna Seibert.
A year after his death, the district started holding the memorial race and,
Jog on: Saturday's fifth annual 5K race begins and ends at the high school's Papermakers Stadium on Roths Church Road.
A fun run will also be held on the school's track and an obstacle course that spans the length of the football field will be set up for children.
"We were looking for something for little kids to do," Smith said.
Smith said she expects 300 to 350 runners to take part in the 5K and additional attendees for the other events and spectators should draw a total of nearly 1,000 people.
Pre-registration is encouraged and can be completed by going to sgasd.org, or the district's offices at 100 E. College Ave. Runners can also register the day of the race. The cost is $25 for the 5K, $12 for the obstacle course and $10 for the fun run.
Drive on: About half of the money raised from the race was used to purchase the driving
simulator. The rest was used for textbooks and special safety events.
The $23,000 simulator looks like the interior of a car, complete with a driver's seat, pedals, steering wheel and gear shift.
Three screens provide a simulated look outside the vehicle.
About 100 different scenarios, such as hazardous driving, can be programmed into the machine, Smith said.
"It's like a video game, but a very serious one. The kids really like it," Smith said.
Though the machine is a teaching tool, the hours students log on it can't be counted toward state driving requirements.
But it has saved students' and teachers' time as opposed to scheduling drives in a real car.
"It saves us a lot of money in the rental of a car and the liability insurance that was a huge cost to us," Smith said.
-- Reach Greg Gross at firstname.lastname@example.org.