“It was the best 5K yet!” squealed a pink haired, rainbow-faced 10 year-old runner. She would know, she is a third-season Girls on the Run girl. Girls on the Run in Juneau ended a 4-month after school program with a 5K Fun Run at Twin Lakes on May 7. Seven teams, 92 girls, 31 coaches, 30 Running Buddies and lots of sunshine filled the playground. Twin Lakes became a fantasy land with balloons and kites against a sunny blue sky, and flowers, crazy hair color, happy face tattoos, family and friends waving “You GO GIRL!” posters of support. Everyone had fun hula hooping and dancing to girl-power music. It was the first time all seven teams from six schools came together as one team to put the crowning touch on their months of study and training for their 5K.
AWARE Inc. is the affiliate of Girls on the Run International for Southeast Alaska. We want to thank all the school counselors, teachers, parents, caregivers, volunteer coaches and sparkly girls for your dedication in support of afterschool program.
Thank you to the 5K coordination team: Sandi Pahlke, Jennifer Watson, Susan Jenkins, Katie Smith and Vera Lumbab, our race route was coordinated by Southeast Road Runners’ Paul DeSloover, in-kind donors: RXpresso Coffee, Good Humor Balloons and Oliver’s Trophies.
Big Brothers Big Sisters sponsored the happy hair table, Juneau Youth Services supported the face painting table. Hula hooper Cori Stennett brought dozens of hula hoops, engaging runners and supporters alike.
KRNN DJ Angelina Ahrens and music mixer Steve Wilde filled the festivities with girl power music. Samantha Adams, Janis Huelsman and Leslie Scranton captured the memories in photographs which we will publish on our website next week at www.awareak.org.
We thank the community-minded contributions by SEARHC, Oceana and First National Bank for supporting their employees to be coaches.
Great appreciation goes to program funders: the City and Borough of Juneau Youth Activities Grant, Alaska Ski for Women, Juneau Community Foundation-Douglas Dornan Foundation. These funds help provide running shoes, snacks, curriculum, program supplies, coaches trainings, background checks, t-shirts and administrators.
AWARE is grateful to partner with community members to help make Juneau a safe and healthy community.
Swarupa Toth, Executive Director