The third annual event was held virtually this year, raising more than $15,000 for the Palomar College Foundation in a year that has brought many additional student requests for support.

Pictured above: An entry in this year’s virtual Monster Dash & Bash costume contest depicted the “Evolution of Zoom” over the course of the COVID-19 crisis.

SAN MARCOS — Even the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t slow down Palomar College’s annual Monster Dash & Bash 5K Run/Walk, which culminated in a virtual costume contest on Thursday, Oct. 29, after raising $15,000 for the Palomar College Foundation.

During the event, some 192 participants logged their five kilometers, including one who participated virtually with her 80-year-old mother from Iowa, and one who walked carrying a “Palomar College Foundation” sign.

Others braved snowfall in Wisconsin, and still others chose to log their activity on roller skates—all in the name of supporting Palomar’s students.

“The Palomar College Foundation has come through in a huge way for our students during this time of crisis,” said Interim Superintendent/President Dr. Jack Kahn. “The Monster Dash is always a fun and engaging way to give back, and we’re grateful to those who participated.”

Palomar College Foundation Executive Director Stacy Rungaitis said the event was especially meaningful this year to the students whose lives are being changed because of the money raised.

“This year has brought so many changes to all of our lives and caused us to pivot almost every inch of what we do,” said Rungaitis. “That was true of the Foundation and this very event. While the 2020 Monster Dash & Bash looked very different, the need for support was more critical than ever.”

Rungaitis said the Foundation has seen a “huge influx of requests for assistance” due to COVID-19.

“The same pandemic that made this year’s Monster Dash a virtual one has also made it increasingly difficult for many students to remain in school and have the resources they need to succeed,” she said. “Students who had part-time jobs have in many cases been furloughed. Some students lack computers or other necessities to take their courses online.”

“Thanks to this year’s Monster Dash & Bash, we will be able to say ‘yes’ to students who are our future first responders, nurses, engineers, and community leaders,” she said. “We’re very grateful for the interest, commitment and investment in their future that was shown by our Palomar College community.”

Key sponsors this year included EDCO, Cal Coast Credit Union, Pala Casino, California Bank & Trust, Stone Brewing, Wild Barrel Brewing and Wavelength Brewing.

The Palomar College Foundation exists to remove financial barriers for Palomar’s students. All proceeds from this event will go directly to serve students through the Foundation’s emergency grant program providing computers, internet service and other emergency funding.