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Sugar House Journal

Spectrum Academy hosts unique fundraiser centered around serving the community

Oct 26, 2020 16h13 ● By Drew Crawford

By Drew Crawford | [email protected]

Spectrum Academy’s annual fundraising efforts have been changed as a result of Covid-19, providing an exciting opportunity to serve the community and generate funds for its mission.

Instead of hosting their annual Spectrum of Colors 5K Glow Run and 5K Turkey Trot like they do every fall, Spectrum Academy will hold its first SA5K where fundraisers and students will perform 5,000 combined acts of community service during a five-week period. 

“Our students, most of them have autism, and so more than just the educational factors, we also want to teach them life-sustaining skills, and service is a big part of that. We just thought that it might be a good twist on doing your virtual 5K but doing it with service projects instead of running,” Amy Baker, development coordinator for Spectrum Academy said, describing how the values of Spectrum Academy helped to inspire the creation of the fundraiser.

“Everyone was jumping on the virtual 5K train, and we just wanted to just do something different. We try to teach our students the benefit of serving always and so we thought that this would be a good thing to invite our community to do at this time of social distancing.” 

Baker wants the community to know that the fundraiser was created to be accessible to the community at a time when many are worried about their health. 

“We’ve got 368 people registered to do service and we’ve got 1,400 students and all of them have their shirt and are ready to do service, and then their parents are jumping on board as well,” Baker said. 

When the SA5K started Baker didn’t know what service would be performed but has been refreshed by the variety of generous acts that has occurred. 

“On our SA5K website we actually have a list of ideas for people to do for service here in Utah,” Baker said. “I think that mostly a lot of the things are outside. Everyone in the different nonprofits are thinking of really good ways to serve to comply with social distancing.”

From the start, students have mostly performed acts of service to those close to them that are in need of help. Spectrum Academy is using its Facebook page to highlight these acts of service. 

“People can record their acts and I will post them up there with pictures that they upload and things like that.

“We do have a lot of our students that will record their acts of ‘I sat by a kid that was lonely at school’ things like that, little acts of service,” Baker said. “I’ve heard of a lady putting together a yard sale for her friend’s niece who is struggling with cancer and the money will go to help her. People just going to get groceries for their grandparents.”

While Spectrum Academy mostly relies on support from the families of those enrolled and sponsors, it is also hoping for contributions from the local community. Anyone who wants to formally participate in the SA5K fundraiser can create a page on the school’s website, where they can record acts of service and seek sponsorship from friends and family.

“Anyone can do it. It doesn’t matter what age you are; it doesn’t matter if you’re quarantined to your room, it doesn’t matter where you live. You can take part in this some way,” Baker said.

Overall, Spectrum Academy hopes to raise $20,000 from the fundraiser that runs from Oct. 5 to Nov. 5. At the time of press deadline, Spectrum Academy had already raised more than $10,000. To register for the SA5K go to

Founded in 2006, Spectrum Academy primarily serves students with high functioning autism, and has campuses that serve elementary, junior high and high school students located in Pleasant Grove and North Salt Lake.