Spooktacular River Run honors former organizer

Maya Cooper dresses up Bob the skeleton with her grandma, Solana Cooper, prior to the start of the Live United, Run United Spooktacular River Run on the morning of Oct. 29 at Gauche Aquatic Park in Yuba City.


The Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way kicked off one of its last fundraisers for the year on Saturday known as the Live United, Run United Spooktacular River Run, held each year for the last decade at Gauche Aquatic Park in Yuba City.

This year’s event, which helps to fund the United Way and its programs and agencies, was dedicated to Eric Pomeroy, who was tragically killed in an automobile accident in Placer County on Oct. 8 – three weeks before the start of the Spooktacular River Run.

Due in part to Pomeroy’s role with the event, Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way Executive Director Bob Harlan helped make the decision to dedicate this year’s event directly to Pomeroy.

Harlan said the event’s name was changed to the 2022 Eric Pomeroy Live United, Run United Spooktacular River Run in honor of a man who was so involved in many of the community efforts in the Yuba-Sutter area. 

Not only was Pomeroy on the board for the Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way and organized the Spooktacular River Run the last three years, Pomeroy also was the assistant superintendent for adult and career education for the Sutter County Superintendent of Schools, founded of Sutter Buttes Swimming and helped start a number of programs to guide local members of the community to lead better lives.

As a way to honor Pomeroy, each of the 225 race participants received blue 2022 Eric Pomeroy Spooktacular River Run wristbands to wear on the 5K/10K run/walks through Yuba City. 

Most donned the wristbands in addition to their Halloween costumes, which ranged from witches and goblins to a giant octopus that made its way through the streets. 

Harlan said race turnout remained strong despite the adversity that the United Way dealt with following the passing of Pomeroy.

Pomeroy was a man of many hats in Yuba-Sutter, according to his late wife, Daniela Pomeroy. Just a week before his passing, Daniela said Eric Pomeroy were the main disc jockeys at the annual Pink October event held annually at Geweke Ford in Yuba City. 

“He impacted a lot (of people) in the community,” Daniela Pomeroy said. “The love and support that we have received from the community is so beautiful. I am impressed by how many people he touched in the community and how the community comes back (to) show love and support for us.” 

One of Eric Pomeroy’s goals while he was alive was to steer the area youth toward opportunities in a variety of areas. So, Pomeroy founded the Sutter Buttes Swim Club to give locals, including his daughter Erica, a chance to shine in the pool. 

Erica Pomeroy, currently a sophomore at Sutter Union High School, is planning to live out her father’s legacy in Yuba-Sutter by continuing to shine as a swimmer – hopefully at the next level.

She was present at Saturday’s event with her mom, Daniela, donning multiple wristbands in honor of Eric Pomeroy.

Pomeroy also started the culinary food truck system within the school district, as well as an adult and dental education program, where individuals could have an opportunity to earn advanced degrees and certificates, Daniela Pomeroy said. 

“A lot of teachers, like me, went through that program because of him. A lot of kids have jobs because of him,” Pomeroy said. “He wanted to make sure that every child gets an opportunity.” 

Harlan said the United Way will make a decision soon as to whether the Live United, Run United Spooktacular River Run will permanently change its name in honor of Eric Pomeroy.

This year’s Spooktacular River Run also featured a four-time champion in the 10K when John LaBouyer crossed as the winner for a fourth year in a row. 

LaBouyer, who doubles as a local artist, called distance running a hobby and a way to “stay healthy as I age.” 

LaBouyer said his best time during his four-year run has been 40 minutes flat. 

Yuba-Sutter-Colusa United Way switches its focus to its annual Turkey Drive beginning in November. Harlan said 11 public locations will be revealed soon where individuals can donate turkeys in time for Thanksgiving.

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