Student-organized South Fayette event a glowing success

| Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 12:06 p.m.

Runners lined up at the starting line dressed in neon pink and yellow T-shirts emblazoned with “Glow Hard or Go Home” on their backs and waited to begin the race around South Fayette Stadium.

The sight was proof the Glow Run, coordinated by the high school's student government and Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) club to benefit the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation, was a success on June 7.

“We couldn't be luckier with this weather,” said Alana Blatz, who helped organize the event with Carly Evanish and Taylor Timmons.

The three 17-year-old students recently completed their junior year at South Fayette High School.

The run was comprised of events for walkers and runners of all ages, including a 1-mile run/walk and a 5K race that encompassed two laps around the entire school campus.

Vendors at the event donated a portion of proceeds to the cause and auctions, a dunk booth and “bounce house” added to the fun.

The event included 653 registered runners and 40 high school and middle school student volunteers.

”All of our volunteers here are South Fayette students, parents and friends. A lot of them are in FBLA, as well, and student government. It's a huge school event that everyone's participating in,” Alana said.

Carly said the idea to organize it was an easy decision, as the three friends participate on the high school's track team.

“One day after school, I was talking with Taylor and I said, ‘We should do a service project for FBLA.' Since we all do track, we liked the idea of a 5K. We wanted to have a theme and I thought of a ‘Glow Run' and it just kept going from there and building on it.”

“We're all track people, we all run track, so that's why we're doing the 5K and mile, because we love running,” Alana said.

Alana said students have a fundraising goal of $10,000 for the project.

“We've been working on it since November. We have hundreds of hours of community service put in for it. We hope to raise lots of money.”

They wanted all funds raised to stay in the Pittsburgh area, so they decided on Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh as the recipient.

“We wanted to benefit the local area. It helps the Free Care Fund and will help pay for families who can't afford medical care. We figured it would be the best way to help the local area,” Alana said.

“I've had cancer in my family and I think we all have, so I think it's a good one to do,” Taylor said.

FBLA members hope to submit the “Glow Run” in the organization's service project competition next year.

“Hopefully, we can go to state and the nationals with it,” Alana said.

“We really like the cause for children's cancer. It really touched us. We were involved with the ‘Mini Thon' that our school did earlier in the year that also benefitted children's cancer. We wanted to keep it local,” Carly said.

David Mayernik Jr. is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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