The Federal Way weather wavered between a sunny and rainy, overcast sky but that didn’t stop some residents from their weekend plans.
Dressing up in diapers and running from Hoyt Road to South King Fire & Rescue Station 64, that is.
This year’s fifth annual Diaper Dash for March of Diapers saw a significant raise in diaper donations compared to previous years.
Last year, Cheryl Hurst’s event for her nonprofit Do the Right Thing was able to raise over 68,000 diapers. This year, the collection surpassed that amount by more than 100%, raising 153,362 diapers alone.
And, for the second year in a row, Federal Way’s Diaper Man was leading the run to help raise diapers.
Ted Colby, a State Farm insurance agent when he’s not wearing a diaper and a cape, said he enjoys doing this because it’s for a good cause, and it gives him a chance to let his goofy side come out full-swing.
“I’ve liked running for a while, but the diaper, just for these two years,” Colby laughed.
He said this actually started as a bet when he first started trying to collect diapers. The first year he participated, he created a Facebook page saying if people could donate 5,000 diapers, he would dress up in a diaper and run from Hoyt Road to SKFR Station 64.
“Like, five days later I had five thousand and they just kept pouring in,” he said. “So we ended up at twenty one or twenty two thousand.”
Colby said he first heard about March of Diapers after going through the Advanced Leadership program with Hurst.
“It’s one of those things that everyone can get behind,” he said. “We all agree that babies should have diapers.”
Colby’s wife, Heidi Colby Sanchez, joined him this year for the first time, and had so much fun she’s already looking forward to next year.
“It’s a very good cause,” she said.
Several other community members also ran with Colby to help support the cause.
With the help of his church, St. Vincent de Paul, Colby was able to raise over 55,000 diapers for this cause.
Hurst couldn’t believe how much this event has grown in the five years she’s been putting it on, and this year’s response is a very emotional one for her.
“People put themselves out there [for this event],” Hurst said. “If you get enough people to donate a little, it makes a lot.”
Shelley Pauls, a well-known volunteer in the Federal Way community, agrees that this year’s response has been overwhelming.
“It’s fun to watch this grow,” she said, noting that there’s a lot of potential for this event to raise over 200,000 diapers next year.
Pauls also pointed out Jim Gillespie, who donated over 25,000 diapers.
“The compassion is amazing,” she said.
Hurst said not only did Gillespie donate diapers, but the storage company he works for, Cobalt Storage, offered free storage space for diaper storage the last two years of the event.
Several organizations received diapers from the massive collection the event brought in, including Multi-Service Center, FUSION, Communities in Schools, and other locations in Auburn, Sumner, Everrett, Tacoma, Maple Valley, Puyallup and Kent.
Hurst said they tried to keep the donations equal, but each location received anywhere from 900 to 13,000 diapers and 5,800 wipes each, depending on need.
For more information, visit dotherightthingnonprofit.org.