'Running Scared at CBS' gives runners a behind-the-scenes Halloween studio tour

Theyre running scared at CBS.

No, the TV network executives arent yet fretting over their new TV shows Bette, The Fugitive or The District. But they are concerned about ghosts in the background of their programs.

They arent the ghosts many of us saw on our televisions during the days of rabbit ears," but rather the ghosts who will be running through the CBS Studio Center lot.

Confusing? Well the first annual Running Scared at CBS event will clear that up maybe.

Born out of an idea to raise money for the beautification of the city of Toluca Lake, Calif., Running Scared at CBS will take place Oct. 28 at 4 p.m. PT at the CBS Studio Center lot in Studio City, Calif. It will have a distinct Halloween theme as runners are urged to dress up in costume with no doubt a few ghosts expected.

There will be both a 5K and 10K run, along with a 5K fun walk and a 1K Kiddie fun run. The course will run past shooting locations and television/movie sets and along the city streets that parallel the Los Angeles River.

In addition there will be a special studio walking tour, a costume contest, live musical entertainment and a special barbecue at the finish.

Fifty percent of the proceeds from the event will go to the Chamber of Commerce of the three sponsoring cities, Toluca Lake, Universal City and Studio City along with 10 public schools in those areas.

Natalie Bloxham, a past-president of the Toluca Lake Chamber of Commerce, is the chair for Running Scared at CBS and its creator.

Im sort of an active type of person, said Bloxham in a recent telephone interview. It started in 1998 when I decided I wanted to have a community parade celebrating the 75th anniversary of Toluca Lake. Since then Ive done a few other community events. We were working on a beautification project for Toluca Lake. And I had a thought that I would like to spread it out a little bit and maybe encompass a bigger area.

Being a past president of the Toluca Chamber of Commerce, I wanted to see if we could get the other area chambers interested in raising money for beautification, Bloxham said. We were able to get Studio City and Universal City in North Hollywood interested in the project and I thought it would be fun to have a 10k race.

According to Bonham, when they started with meetings they felt that they needed something more than just the beautification project to raise money. And that the public schools in those communities could use some help.

Its all about getting the communities together for a good cause and having fun, Bloxham said. Michael Klausman, the president of CBS Studio Center, offered to open up the CBS back lots for the run and walk. And he also wanted to offer a studio walking tour for all the people taking part in the event.

We wanted to make it more than just a run, Bloxham said. We wanted to make if for kids and for grandmas and grandpas. We decided to have entertainment with five bands, including all kinds of music from rockabilly to rock n' roll to pop, and a fifth band, a big band Medflory and the SuperSax Quintet for the post-race celebration.

Javamusic.com, which is providing the groups, is the presenting sponsor of the event.

Bloxham said the idea of the barbecue was to have a reason for the runners and spectators to stay on the premises for the evening.

Once the runners cross the finish line, theyll be smelling the food at the barbecue and theyll want to stay, Bloxham said.

In addition to the entertainment and the food, the schools will be holding pumpkin and costume contests, with their respective winners represented at the Running Scared event. Runners and spectators alike also will be urged to dress up in costume with prizes awarded.

Fritz Coleman, an L.A. weathercaster, TV personality and standup comic, will be the emcee for the event.

Bloxham emphasized that money raised for the beautification of the communities will not be focused on the rivers and mountains, but rather on the streets and parks.

When she isnt busy with her community work, Bloxham helps her husband Graham run a Jaguar repair shop in Sherman Oaks.


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