Girls on the Run encourages girls to develop self respect and healthy lifestyles through participation in running programs.
Team Fox is the Michael J. Fox Foundation’s grassroots community initiative to help raise funds and awareness for Parkinson’s research.
A new race aims to create a local chapter for one organization and raise money for the other.
“There are four of us doing it,” said Stephanie Desautels, one of the organizers of the Sept. 1 events at the US Oval in Plattsburgh. “We just kind of wanted to do something different and thought it would be a fun way to raise money.”
The event includes a 9 a.m. Munchkin half mile fun run for ages 12 and under at a cost of $10. Kids run a half mile around US Oval and receive free Dunkin Donuts munchkins at the finish.
There is also a 9:30 a.m. Donut Dash 5k for $20. Runners run three laps around US Oval and encounter Dunkin Donut Aid stations at each mile. They are not required to eat donuts during the race, though only runners who eat one donut per mile will be eligible for awards.
“One of the girls runs in the Ben and Jerry’s run in Vermont where you run and eat a pint of ice cream, and it made them start brainstorming to see what else there is,” Desautels said. “We wanted to do something fun and quirky, and obviously donuts and running do not go together.”
The other individuals organizing the event are Erin Campbell, Lauren Eastwood and Leann Macey.
“We also want everyone to run in their pajamas, so it will be hilarious,” Desautels said.
She said the event was another way to raise money for a worthy cause and do something different in the community.
Girls on the Run is an amazing program, but expensive to start, and Parkinson’s research is close to her heart.
Girls on the Run is a North American non-profit program that seeks to address all aspects of a girl’s development through running to enhance physical, emotional, mental, social and spiritual well-being.
The program inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a curriculum that creatively integrates running.
Founder Mary Barker faced her own struggles, including alcohol, when she realized a running program saved her. She founded Girls on the Run in 1996, growing from 13 girls then to serving more than 60,000 yearly.
Girls on the Run provides an environment that allows girls to reach their full potential, serving youth 8-13.
It operates in 45 states and Canada.
“We are trying to get a branch going here,” Desautels said.
Team Fox, launched in 2006, features members running, climbing, flipping pancakes, hosting concerts, golfing and more to help find a cure and fund Parkinson’s research.
Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative disorder of the central nervous system.
Desautels has been working hard to help with research and finding a cure, especially since her father was diagnosed.
“It is a slow progressing disease, and he is plugging along,” she said. “But it is draining and gets harder for him to eat.”
The race is currently seeking sponsors and donations.
For more information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, or through Facebook at facebook.com/donutdash5k.