The St. Johns County Education Foundation which operates as INK! (Investing in Kids), has an ongoing mission to provide innovative programs and classroom resources to promote the academic success of students in the St. Johns County School District. The nonprofit was recently selected to benefit from local resident, real estate businessman and U.S. Navy veteran Eric Tatro’s Fundraising On Foot, River to Beach Run to include a 36-mile run from his home in Julington Creek Plantation to the Beachcomber St. Augustine at 2 A Street in St Augustine Beach on Saturday, July 3. The marathon runner is raising funds for INK! due to his family’s values and belief in quality education for all children in the region and much needed help for teachers and students in public schools.
Tatro, his wife Cherise Lloyd and their two young sons moved to St. Johns County from Texas in 2016, specifically for their jobs and for the boys to attend a top-rated school system. Since arriving in the region, Tatro has become involved in the community and serves on the board for the St. Johns Chamber of Commerce’s North Business Council, along with friend and co-board member Donna Lueders, the executive director for INK!. Tatro is a real estate agent in St. Augustine with the brokerage Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage LLC, and is a senior property manager for Commonwealth Commercial in Jacksonville. He is a running enthusiast for more than 20 years.
Tatro is originally from Michigan and joined the U.S. Navy as a 19-year-old and spent time in Japan and San Diego before attending San Francisco State University. He graduated in 2006 with a business degree in corporate finance and began working in the commercial real estate field. By 2013, he and Lloyd had moved to Dallas for jobs in their fields.
Their latest move was in 2016 to St. Johns County.
Lloyd is a portfolio manager in debt capital markets for Macquarie Capital in Jacksonville. She is working to facilitate donations for INK! with The Macquarie Group Foundation matching in accordance with the foundation’s guidelines.
Specifically, during the River to the Beach Run, Tatro will cross St. Johns County diagonally from the St. Johns River to St. Augustine Beach. He will complete the run at the Beachcomber restaurant where A Street meets the Atlantic Ocean with $100 sponsors for every mile of the 36-mile effort. For more information, go to the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/The-River-to-the-Beach-Run-103527061935740.
“My family and I owe a debt of gratitude to the educators in St. Johns County. Donna Lueders and her organization deserve support from all who can give,” Tatro said. “At a recent networking event, I decided to challenge myself and attendees to raise funds for the nonprofit with completing the run for $100 a mile.”
According to Tatro, although he is a running enthusiast, he has never run this far at one time and has been wanting to do something interesting to help raise money and awareness for INK!.
“Some very generous people have already stepped up immediately to support the challenge to gift match any portion of the $3,600 we hope to raise,” he said.
Contributions can be made directly to INK! at ink-stjohns.org/donate/.
“We all wish Eric well and we’ll see him at the finish line on July 3,” Lueders said. “We hope this inaugural initiative for local schoolteachers and students becomes an annual event just one day before our nation’s Independence Day celebrations.”