Carmel Education Foundation Proudly Presents the Return of Ghosts & Goblins in Person

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September 2021

As many loyal participants recall, the Carmel Education Foundation (CEF) had to pivot last year’s event/fundraiser and go virtual as a result of the pandemic restrictions that were in place. CEF staff and volunteers are thrilled to host the 13th Annual Ghosts & Goblins 5k and 2k Run/Walk—in person and much like it has been enjoyed by community members and participants in prepandemic times.

Carmel Education Foundation’s Ghosts & Goblins race welcomes nearly 3,000 Carmel community members annually for a morning of fun, creative costumes and spirited competition. Participants may run, walk or jog a 5K or 2K course, either as an individual or a team. Best of all, proceeds from the race benefit Carmel Clay students and teachers through CEF Great Idea! Grants, district-wide programs and senior scholarships. This year’s Ghosts & Goblins Run/Walk will take place on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, 8:30 a.m. at Carmel High School.

I sat down with CEF Executive Director Jennifer Penix and CEF board member Leslie Teskey—and this year’s event chair—to discuss the changes and additions to Ghosts & Gobllins, CEF’s largest fundraiser, as well as the purpose of CEF and the impact it has on the Carmel Clay Schools’ teachers and students through its grant programs.

The Purpose of the Carmel Education Foundation

CEF is the nonprofit funding partner of Carmel Clay Schools (CCS). CEF raises the funds to award grants that support innovation and student engagement in the classrooms. The foundation also helps provide over 100 scholarships to Carmel High School seniors. With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, CEF is even more attuned to the evolving needs of CCS teachers and schools. CEF grants will continue to help fulfill those needs and district-wide initiatives throughout the pandemic and beyond.

CEF’s guiding principles are

  • EDUCATION IS POWER—Public education changes lives. It builds knowledge and tears down barriers.
  • EVERYBODY BENEFITS—We believe our work has ripple effects that extend beyond the schools, enriching the entire community.
  • FURTHER TOGETHER—We create meaningful partnerships to elevate, enhance and expand students’ experiences.
  • HONOR THE WORK—We recognize and celebrate the great strides of our students, teachers and administrators.

What’s New This Year?

“Because we had a year off, we are doing a little bit of a reboot and refresh this year,” Penix shared. “The district’s landscape is a little different with redistricting, and we have an entirely new school and new staff, so we took a step back, asked people [previous participants] what has worked well and how we could improve going forward. We also looked at how we could make the grants and the event [itself] more equitable for all of the [CCS] schools and have worked really hard within the foundation to accomplish this goal.”

Carmel Education Foundation

Teskey added, “We’ve changed the parameters to win grants so it’s obtainable for every school to win a grant and every school will receive a grant by following some basic steps that we have provided them.”

Carmel Education Foundation

New this year, Penix shared that if every school participates in the promotion of this year’s Ghost & Goblins race by using a prepared media kit that CEF has devised and distributed to all the CCS schools and PTOs, the schools will be awarded a “Goblin Grant” valued at $500. Penix emphasized that CEF made the checklist items to be easily obtainable so that all the schools have an opportunity to walk away from this event with at least a grant. Penix and the CEF board have also adjusted the pricing to give families a price break and are working with school councilors to assist students and families who want to participate but may have financial barriers that would otherwise prohibit them from participating in Ghosts & Goblins.

Carmel Education Foundation

Joining CEF and the Ghost & Goblins volunteers, participants and sponsors is WISH-TV morning anchor, Carmel High School graduate and proud Carmel Clay Schools parent Scott Sander. Sander will serve as this year’s emcee and will greet everyone and help fire you up for a fun Ghosts & Goblins race!

Don’t wait a moment longer—register today! For a complete list of prizes, start times and other pertinent race/walk information, visit

Carmel Education Foundation