The City of Big Bear Lake and the Lighthouse Project, at last night’s City Council meeting, agreed to partner in non-monetary ways and, already, they’re off and running! The Lighthouse Project’s Beth Gardner, in a formal yet friendly presentation, offered a number of opportunities for the City to partake in the non-profit’s mission to create a child-honoring community and to develop, in Gardner’s words, “A community that is spirited, cohesive, connected and future-focused.” Some of those suggestions include a Peace Builders workshop for city staff and fostering our community to be the most physically fit in the country. As Gardner told Council, “There are a lot of things that could be on our dance card if you choose us as a partner.” And yet, in a subsequent item at the April 27 Council meeting, the Lighthouse Project has been tapped to oversee the September 12 marathon, as last year’s event organizer, HBT Events is, per Rick Bates of the Event Resource Office, “not able to go forward with the event due to financial difficulties”—but, as for the Lighthouse Project, Bates added, “to my delight, they were game for the challenge.” Though just given the go-ahead to proceed, the Lighthouse Project has already established a distinguished production team to ensure that the Run the Bear Marathon, in less than five months, is “top notch in time.” The newly named Run the Bear, whose primary sponsor (so far) is the Coldwell Banker Tim Wood Group, will be overseen by a production team that includes Gardner, Bates and Wood, as well as Phil Hamilton, Michael Perry, Pat Follett, Ted and Heather Devito and Randy Putz. Gardner assures that the September 12th event’s financials will offer “transparent accounting” and that the event itself (which will also include a half-marathon, 5K, bike tour and free kids run) will be a community collaboration, fostering spirit, pride, tradition and fun, much like the City of Pasadena’s Rose Parade. In order to hit the ground running, so to speak, City Council granted approval for use of city streets and signage, so that the Lighthouse Project can now pursue approvals from CalTrans and other agencies. As outlined, the Run the Bear event will likely start from Pine Knot Landing and will run clockwise around Big Bear Lake, and double-back after Stanfield Cutoff, thereby showcasing some of the most scenic aspects of the Valley.