Each year, I like to run a race where there is a little more behind it than just me chasing a PR. For the past two years, I have run the Columbus Marathon as a Children’s Champion and raised over $1500. I loved the Columbus experience but decided to forgo the race this fall and run some local races instead. That left me looking for something where I could give back. The perfect opportunity arose when I had the chance to represent the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon on Sunday at the Southeast Runners’ Club banquet.
At the banquet I met Rachel Nypaver, Volunteer Coordinate with Girls on the Run of Greater Summit. She was there promoting the program the same as I was promoting the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, and as she talked about it, I got more and more excited and thought that it was a perfect program for me to support. What’s Girls on the Run? It’s a program that was established in 1996 in Charlotte, NC that provides pre-adolescent girls with the necessary tools to embrace their individual strengths and navigate life experiences. The mission states, “We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.” It is a 10-week program that combines running as a way to show the girls they are capable of great accomplishments, with a 5K as the culmination. Our local chapter is located in Summit County and serves Cuyahoga, Lorain, Medina, Portage, and Summit Counties.
I was completely sold on the idea of assisting with Girls on the Run in some way, and when Rachel noted that Girls on the Run was recently added as a charity partner for the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon, I knew I had to get involved by running the race not only as a race ambassador but as a Girls on the Run SoleMate! SoleMates raise money for Girls on the Run, which is used to provide scholarships for girls to take part in the program. My goal is to raise at least $600, which will provide a scholarship to one girl and three of her friends. Anything over my goal would be fabulous!
Our young girls are growing up in tough times. Even at a young age they are constantly bombarded with images and ideals of what a girl and woman should be. All one has to do it look through social media or magazine covers or television programs to see what some consider the image of ideal beauty and/or female perfection, and that leaves many of them feeling poorly about their self-image. Girls on the Run is there to help them think outside the “Girl Box,” which is the place many girls go to in middle school when they morph into what they think they should be instead of who they really are. I only wish there was something like this around when I was younger, but now I can help make a difference in the lives of young girls in an effort to help them grow into strong, independent women.
This is where I need your help. Please consider making a donation to Girls on the Run through my SoleMate fundraising page. Any and all help is greatly appreciated! Here’s the link:
Thanks in advance, and this makes me even more motivated for Cleveland in May! #girlpower #runlikeagirl
Check out Girls on the Run of Greater Summit on Facebook!