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Inaugural Dr. Tombaugh Dash to Honor Legacy

When former Westerville City School District (WCSD) Superintendent Dr. George Tombaugh passed away on February 20, 2019, family members approached the Westerville Education Foundation (WEF) with a desire to establish a fund to which individuals could make a donation in lieu of flowers to honor the late educator.

At its conclusion, the initiative raised nearly $5,000 and allowed the family to establish the Dr. George Tombaugh Fund as part of the WEF’s competitive grants program. This fund is dedicated to supporting innovative classroom and instructional initiatives submitted by WCSD educators who are completing college coursework in educational leadership and/or pursuing their advanced degree or certification in educational leadership or administration.

Katy Tombaugh said she and her four siblings (Ben Tombaugh, Fred Tombaugh, Jenna Lofgren, and Kris Evans), as well as their mother (Carol Tombaugh), had subsequent conversations and brainstormed ways they could keep the fund viable.

“We didn’t want this fund to be a one-time thing,” Katy explained. “We were looking for a way to not only generate revenue for the fund, but to find a way that would honor my father’s legacy and his lifelong work in education.”

As a result, with Katy assuming the lead and others taking on roles to support the vision, the Tombaugh family launched an effort to bring the inaugural Dr. Tombaugh Dash – Family 5K & Fun Run to the Westerville area community. Their goal is to net $10,000 from the event’s first year to grow the funding available through the WEF’s Dr. George Tombaugh Fund.

Katy said her father was a strong proponent of physical fitness who instilled the importance of health and exercise in his children. The concept of bringing a new Family 5K & Fun Run to the community felt like a natural fit, caught the attention of others, and quickly gained momentum.

“We now have a full committee in place that is working to make this event a reality,” Katy said. “We’re securing all of the necessary permits from the City of Westerville and are proud to bring the inaugural event to our community on June 21, 2020, which is Father’s Day.”

Katy said the run will be held on the grounds of the Westerville Sports Complex. Planning committee members are working with Columbus Running Company to manage event registration and logistics.

“Whether you run competitively, prefer to walk, or are simply looking for a way to enjoy time together as a family, we believe participating in the event will be a great way for everyone to honor their fathers, living or deceased,” Katy added.

Sponsorships will be an essential part of meeting (and exceeding) the fundraising goal for this event. To receive information about sponsorship opportunities, please contact for specifics. Individuals interested in participating in the event can learn more and register at

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