By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Northborough/Southborough – Algonquin Regional High School (ARHS) seniors Allie Courtwright, Baylee Burns and Stephanie McGovern are learning some real life lessons. The trio is organizing a 5k color run to benefit the Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest.
As students in Patricia Riley’s business research class, the girls are organizing the race for their entry in the community service category of the DECA competition. DECA is a nonprofit student organization that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management in high schools and colleges worldwide. Submissions in the community service category must demonstrate an understanding of the role of community service within the community.
“We hope our 5K is a project that provides an opportunity for us to develop a better understanding of the role civic activities have in society,” Courtwright said. “It is our goal to make a contribution to our community as well as the Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest.”
The girls chose to donate the run proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest because, they said, “sports and afterschool activities are something that we are very passionate about. We have always been very involved in after school activities and sports and could not imagine our lives without them.”
The girls are involved in volleyball, basketball, softball, indoor track and lacrosse, and are also involved in afterschool activities, such as Steering Committee, Student Council, Nets for Life, Algonquin Gives Back, DECA and Algonquin Superfan.
“We wanted to help support a place where kids can go after school where they are safe, have fun and can partake in activities – and be as involved as we are,” Courtwright noted.
Because the idea of themed 5Ks seemed to be trendy and draw a lot of attention, the girls decided to do a color run. The color run, also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” is a five-kilometer, untimed race in which participants in white t-shirts are doused in different colors at each kilometer along the course.
After Riley supported the idea, the girls gained approval from Principal Tom Mead and Athletic Director Karrah Ellis. Then, after a meeting with Fran Hurley, president of the Boys and Girls Club of Metrowest, the girls were off and running.
“After we spoke with Mr. Hurley, we realized that this was so much more than a school project,” Courtwright said. “We realized we had the ability to really make a difference in these young children’s lives.”
In order to raise awareness for the event, a Twitter account @5kforthekids was set up. Through Twitter, the girls have been able to advertise their weekly bake sale and freeze pop Friday. Proceeds help cover some of the expenses including bib numbers and water bottles. Additionally, a Facebook event page was created under the name “5K For The Kids Color Run” to help spread the word.
The 5k For The Kids color run will take place at ARHS Sunday, Oct. 26, with check-in beginning at 8:30 a.m. Runners will start the race at 10 a.m. and walkers at 10:15 a.m. The first 100 people to register will receive a free t-shirt and the first three men and women to finish the race will win a gift card bundle. All participants receive a free Sports Authority drawstring bag with two coupons inside. The cost to register is $25 prior to Sunday, Oct. 12, and $30 after.
“It means a lot to all of us knowing that so many children and their families will benefit from what we are doing,” Courtwright said. “Every little bit helps. We are excited to give back and know that our job does not end after Oct. 26. We are excited to have created something so much bigger than ourselves and are excited to become involved in the community. Our work will not end here.”
To register, visit www.active.com/?cmp=23-13&SREF=FBEvent.