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Sewickley snowball run morphs into Monster Dash

| Wednesday, Oct. 16, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
About 75 children and adults participated in last year's Snowball Dash, a 1-mile fun run held to raise money and awareness about Pressley Ridge, an organization that helps troubled youth and their families. This year, the run, renamed Monster Dash, wil be held Oct.26.
Sewickley Herald
Members of the Quaker Valley 12-and-under wrestling team and students from Pressley Ridge run along Chadwick Street in Sewickley as part of the Snowball Dash for Kids Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. The one-mile fun run was held to raise awareness and funds for Pressley Ridge's programs. The nonprofit organization founded in 1832 provides services to help youths with challenging behaviors remain in their homes, schools and communities. Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald

The Monster Dash is all about kids helping kids, organizers said.

The goals of the one-mile fun run, to be held prior to the Sewickley Halloween parade on Oct. 26, are to raise money and awareness about Pressley Ridge, an organization that helps troubled children and their families; to involve local children in community service; and promote Quaker Valley wrestling and physical activity, said Melissa Richey of Sewickley Heights, one of the organizers.

Richey, along with Shauna Nuzzo of Glen Osborne — both Pressley Ridge junior board members — are partnering with the Quaker Valley Wrestling Association, Quaker Valley Rotary and Pressley Ridge, which has an operations center in McCandless.

Last year, the event, which was named Snowball Dash and held prior to Sewickley's Christmas parade, raised more than $2,000. About 75 runners participated.

Richey said that last year, the fun run had to be organized in about two weeks, but this year, there was more time to promote it.

Richey said the event date was changed because of scheduling conflicts and to take advantage of warmer weather. It will serve as a kickoff to the Quaker Valley wrestling season, practice for which will begin the next week.

Morgan Kister, Pressley Ridge development coordinator, said all money raised will be used to help children and their families who benefit from Pressley Ridge services.

The event began when Richey — who along with Nuzzo is a pediatric nurse practitioner at Children's Hospital — and her husband, Jason, coach of the Quaker Valley wrestling team for those ages 12 and younger, wanted to find a way to get children more involved in community service.

They put their passions together and came up with an event to benefit both.

The wrestlers, who will run at no cost alongside Pressley Ridge youths, have been encouraged to find sponsors for the event, talk to them about Pressley Ridge and raise awareness about the organization while they are raising money.

When runners register online, they can choose to sponsor one of the wrestlers.

Wrestlers and children involved with Pressley Ridge will carry a Pressley Ridge banner in theHalloween parade.

Kister said the event is a great way to “get kids involved in helping other kids and to get Pressley Ridge kids out there in the community.”

Richey agreed.

“It's about learning life's lessons,” she said, “and part of life's lessons is giving back to the community.”

Joanne Barron is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1406 or jbarron@tribweb.com.

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