May 22, 2013
Cheers from family and friends greeted runners who, undeterred by rain, sprinted through the finish line at Tod’s Point in Greenwich, Conn., on Sunday. More meaningful than the medals received and the fast times recorded was the reason for running.
Children, teens and adults begin to run, walk and stroll 2.62 miles at Tod’s Point to raise funds for Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. The fifth annual Save the Children Mini-Marathon saw children, teens, adults and even strollers covering 2.62 miles to raise funds for Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. Participants raced the clock to support literacy and early education programs for children living in poverty throughout the United States.
The event was held by Save the Children’s Greenwich Leadership Council and the Greenwich Track Club, along with corporate and family sponsors.
Event co-chairs Marilyn Roos and Luz Agrest of the Greenwich Leadership Council began the Mini-Marathon in 2009 to involve the Greenwich community with an organization they cared about.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumethal, D-Conn., himself a supporter of Save the Children for more than 25 years, opened the event by presenting a proclamation from Greenwich First Selectman Peter Tesei that declared May 19 “Save the Children’s Day.”
“I feel a lot of love from the community,” Roos said. “I feel like people have embraced this cause.”
Sunday’s race was truly a community event. It was a day when children were empowered to help children. One young participant, upon crossing the finish line with a friend, said, “We’ve done it! We’ve saved children.”
Teen involvement, in particular, was crucial for the success of the Mini-Marathon. In the months leading to the race, members of the Greenwich Teen Council publicized the event. After-school hours were dedicated to utilizing social media, sending postcards to local businesses and residents, and putting up posters. On the day of the race, the teenagers were some of the first volunteers at the site, arriving at 7:30 a.m. to sort T-shirts, refreshments and goody bags for the runners they later helped to register. Much of what motivated young members like Lauren Lang, Kate Webster, Sage White and Teen Council President Selby White to volunteer was a sense of closeness to the cause.
[cause] is really close to us because it has to do with education and
children…and also it’s domestic, so it’s people within our country,” said Selby
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., second from left, with Save the Children Mini-Marathon organizers, from left, Luz Agrest, Bill Bogardus and Marilyn Roos.
Many at the race voiced a personal connection to early education. Bill Bogardus, director of the Greenwich Track Club, has acted as race director every year of the Mini-Marathon.
“I am a teacher, and I have two little children in preschool, so it just kind of all blends together and just makes sense,” said Bogardus, referring to this year’s Mini-Marathon designating funding to Save the Children’s Early Steps to School Success program. “I mean, research shows that the more kids are getting involved in education, that if they have an early kind of jumpstart program, they’ll be better once they get to kindergarten. And it’s all about giving them the tools and resources to learn and experience different things at a very early age.”
The rainy weather Sunday did not distract Roos from the reason she and so many others put this event together every year.
raining, but everybody is still very much in the game here, and they’re
enthusiastic and they have really had a great day and enjoyed it,” she said. “I
just hope this race continues to be an integral part of the spring in
Members of the Greenwich Leadership Council’s teen group, from left, Sage White, Kate Webster and Selby White, register incoming participants in the May 19 Save the Children Mini-Marathon in Greenwich.