The Waxahachie Running Club wants to raise at least $5,000 with a fun run for the West Independent School District’s special education department.

The club, partnered with St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, hopes to raise enough money to help the department buy at least 50 iPads, said event coordinator Susan Turner.

This is all to help the town that’s still recovering from a fertilizer plant explosion on April 17 of last year, which killed 15 people and damaged most of the town, Turner said. Run4West, a 5K, 10K and 1-mile family fun run, will take place at 8 a.m. Saturday, April 12 at Getzendaner Park located at 400 South Grand Avenue in Waxahachie.

Turner and her son heard the explosion on the news, and felt it at her house, she said. So when she kept seeing how much the town was struggling, she said she decided something had to be done.

“I have family and friends who have special needs children,” Turner said. “So, I thought we could use the money from running to help them.”

Teachers from the department are expected to attend the event and bring some of the special education students as well, Turner said. This will give participants a chance to meet and see some of the people they’ll be helping, Turner said.

Registration for the event starts at 7 a.m. at the park, or runners can register online at Races start at 8 a.m., first with the 10K run, followed by the 5K at 8:10 a.m. and the 1-mile run at about 8:30 a.m., Turner said.

There will also be a silent auction from 7-9 a.m., and the club is also taking any gently-used clothing and running shoes for charity.

“I think it’s a great idea,” said Russell Williams, founder and president. “The Waxahachie Running Club is community-based. We don’t charge any fees and we’re volunteer-based, so the whole volunteering and benefiting concept of it falls right in line with the charity for West.”

Currently, Waxahachie Running Club has more than 700 members, with members ranging from Dallas County to Hillsboro, Williams said. The club welcomes all members, from beginning runners to those who run competitively, he said.

If the weather is anything heavier than a light mist, the club will reschedule, Turner said.

On April 5, the club will also host a pancake fundraiser at Applebee’s. Participants pay $10 to eat all the pancakes they want, and the money will go toward West, Turner said.

“I just want others to know they can use their love of running to help other people,” Turner said. “We have that gift from God and we can use it to help other people.