Heat wave didn’t stop students from running for charity

The Claremont High School Cross Country Wolfpack ran for charity with their 24-hour relay event last Friday and Saturday.

The relay is held annually for the team to bond before the new season starts in September and also has the team involved with fundraising efforts. This year, cross country captains Adam Michno, Daniel Ross, Merian Arft, Andrea Flores, Megan Renken and Kylee Jorgensen selected the Foothill Family Shelter as the charity of choice.

“We selected Foothill Family Shelter because they were relatively easy to donate to,” Adam said. “They’re a good family shelter and get people to stay in shape and get their lives together.”

Adam said the captains agreed that Foothill Family Shelter would be best because it allowed the team to donate a range of items from canned foods to diapers.

The nonprofit organization offers transitional and permanent housing for families in need, from San Bernardino to the east end of Los Angeles County. Their service areas include Upland, Ontario, Montclair, Pomona, Claremont and Rancho Cucamonga.

“I’m delighted that young people are concerned about their community and by donating they are helping with basic needs of food, shelter and health,” Mary Sheets, Executive Director of the Foothill Family Shelter, said.

Donated goods were dropped off at tents before the captains led the team through various ice-breaking activities and games. The captains brought soccer balls, Frisbees, water balloons and water guns available to beat the blistering weather, while the team took shifts running.

“This is about meeting new people and forming stronger bonds with everyone else; in the long run it helps everyone get to know each other since we have a big team.” Andrea said.

Team members took turns running laps to help raise money through pledge vouchers that had been collected through the community. Five people, at most, would run the loop of the high school so there was always someone running. At night the team ran the track.

With the CIF summer dead period in place for coaches, the captains are in charge of making sure the team stays in shape for the 2013 season.

“It is a little bit of a weird situation for me,” Daniel said of his leadership role. “I’ve always been the youngest, so it’s a new experience for me to be seen as a source of authority.”

The captains host their own practices and have teammates join them on runs around the Claremont area. All of these events are open to incoming freshmen to prepare for the season.

Constant announcements, Facebook posts and word of mouth help spread the message to the freshmen interested in joining, Kailey said.

Lisa Berry, the Booster president for the cross country team, believes the event is a great opportunity for the team to really get out there and grow as individuals.

The team’s donation total was not available at the time of publication.

For more on Foothill Family Shelter’s services, visit www.foothillfamilyshelter.org.

—Christina Collins Burton



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