When Nicole Foster, Head Coach of Girls on the Run of Meadowbrook Elementary, asked the team of 3rd-5th grade girls what they would like to do to help the community, she had no idea that there would be such an overwhelming love for animals among her Girls on the Run team. The team unanimously decided they wanted their community service project to involve raising money for animals in need. Girls on the Run is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to empowering young girls to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams. This goal is accomplished through weekly lessons on leadership skills, finding your beauty within, and embracing your “star power.” All of this intertwines to help the girls train for and participate in a 5K, which was held at UNCA in May. “This season was my first experience with being a Girls on the Run coach, and I am so glad that I have had this opportunity. I have enjoyed watching the girls grow and embrace being who they are,” said Foster. To teach young girls about being a leader in the community, Girls on the Run teams organize a community service project. A few of the girls knew about Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation and shared that this organization would be the perfect place to donate raised funds. Once this decision was made, the girls began brainstorming ideas for how to raise the money. The girls’ brainstorming led to the first ever Girls on the Run “Run/Walk-A-Thon” at Meadowbrook Elementary. The team knew they wanted to use what they had learned all season about leadership, while also incorporating what they do best… running! Over the past few weeks, the Girls on the Run of Meadowbrook have been searching for sponsors to pledge funds based on how many laps the girls will run or walk. The team has also been contacting businesses and members of the community to request donations of food for the cookout that will accompany the “Run/Walk-A-Thon.” “This has been an amazing experience for the girls to learn about teamwork, cooperation, and humility as they have worked so hard to organize this event,” said Kristen Stiles, Assistant Coach of the Girls on the Run of Meadowbrook. The “Run/Walk-A-Thon” is free to the public, but donations for Sarge’s Animal Rescue Foundation will be greatly appreciated. The event will take place on Friday, June 5th from 5:00-7:00 p.m. at Meadowbrook Elementary.
Pictured are front row: Emma Norris, Bella Perkins, Molly Henson, Alivia Boyer, Allison Setzer and Scarlett Queen. Middle row: Coach Kelli Setzer, Emma Hyman, Natalie Ramsey, Jaden Gentry, Lexi Messer, Lily Wilson, Sydney Messer, Kailee Garland and Jazlyn Valencia. Back row: Coach Amanda Williams, Coach Nicole Foster, Aaliyah Moore, Coach Carol Pace and Coach Kristen Stiles. Not pictured: Gracie Hensley.