October Girl Hero

October Girl Hero

David Wellington, Assistant Superintendent and
Sneaker Soiree Speaker Extraordinaire

Energy cheers to our Sneaker Soiree keynote speaker, David Wellington, who’s been a dedicated champion for Girls on the Run for over a decade! At last Thursday’s event, David shared his personal connection to the Girls on the Run program as well as his perspective on the exciting new research from Girls on the Run International. His enthusiastic and passionate appeal to our audience resulted in our biggest Soiree total ever; over $121,000 to support 40 teams (600 girls!) in our upcoming Spring 2018 season.

David has worked in education for more than two decades. He taught high school for eight years, has served as an elementary, middle and high school principal and currently serves as the Assistant Superintendent of Elementary Education for the Northshore School District. While principal at Maywood Hills Elementary, David was instrumental in getting the Maywood program started beginning in the spring of 2012. Since that time, the entire Wellington family has gotten involved with Girls on the Run. His daughter Audrey is a past participant and current Youth Ambassador, and his wife, Cathy, and both daughters regularly join David at Girls on the Run events and 5ks as fun, highly engaged volunteers and participants.

As a parent, educator, and administrator, Dave sees our program through a unique lens and is always willing to offer advice, opinions, or speak on our behalf. We are grateful and honored to have David as a continued advocate for Girls on the Run and strong girls and women in our community!

 

September Girl Hero

September Girl Hero

Local Girl Champion & Girls on the Run Supporter,

Virginia Mason!

This month, we are honored to highlight one of our longest and biggest girl advocates, Virginia Mason! Virginia Mason has supported Girls on the Run in countless ways, including donating scholarship funds for girls in need, providing emergency kits to keep girls safe during practice and encouraging employees to volunteer as GOTR coaches, Running Buddies and 5K Volunteers.

But their generosity doesn’t end there! This year, Virginia Mason has once again offered to match paddle raise donations at the $2,500 level at our signature fundraising event of the year, the Sneaker Soiree, on October 5th.  As part of their support of the event, they have also donated a Sounders Suite for the “Girls on the Run” night live auction package. Register for the Sneaker Soiree today for your chance to bid on this awesome package and score one, two or more tickets to watch the Sounders play live in premium box seats with friends!

We are eternally grateful for Virginia Mason’s continued support of our program and girls on the community. Thanks to amazing sponsors like them, we have been able to continue growing our program and empowering even more girls in the Puget Sound. Let’s hear it for amazing local girl advocate and hero, Virginia Mason!

August Girl Heroes

August Girl Heroes

Our REMARKABLE 2017 SoleMates

Our SoleMates never cease to amaze us. In very few life situations could you put 12 strangers in a van, ask them to run 200 miles over two days and have them support and encourage each other in the most remarkable ways. Stories emerged of SoleMates cheering each other on at all times of the day or night, forming tunnels for teammates and offering each other nourishment when they needed it most. The way they cheered and championed each other truly embodies the ideals and values of the Girls on the Run program and curriculum. But beyond championing each other, our SoleMates are true champions for our girls and program. Collectively, they raised close to $25,000 for scholarships next spring! That’s 125 girls that may not have otherwise been able to participate in our transformative girl empowerment program. From the bottom of our hearts and on behalf of all the girls who you positively impacted, we thank you.

View more photos of our awesome SoleMates rocking Ragnar here.

July’s Girl Heroes

July’s Girl Heroes

Our Amazing Team of Girl Ambassadors

Our July Girl Heroes are our super fun, energetic, smart (the list could go on and on…) team of Youth Ambassadors! One of our favorite new initiatives from last year was the formation of a group of past participants who serve as Youth Ambassadors for Girls on the Run of Puget Sound. The Youth Ambassador program gives both current program participants and alumnae the chance to share their GOTR experience with the wider community while continuing to develop their interpersonal and communication tools.

Last year, Youth Ambassadors represented Girls on the Run through a variety of exciting media and community engagement opportunities. Eighteen Ambassadors shared their Girls on the Run stories for recruitment videos, attended Girls on the Run fundraising events and spoke with supporters, and assisted with yearbook sales at Seahawks training camp. We are grateful to all the Ambassador participants for their willingness to participate in our pilot year and thoughtfully share their experiences with our community!

Do you know a current or past Girls on the Run or Heart & Sole participant who would be a GREAT Ambassador for Girls on the Run? Applications are now open for our 2017-2018 cohort. Visit our webpage at http://girlsrun.org/gotr-youth-ambassador/ for more information.

June’s Girl Hero

June’s Girl Hero

We’re honoring our fantastic Girls on the Run 5k title sponsor,

QFC, as our Girl Hero!

QFC has been one of Girls on the Run’s biggest and brightest champions since they first became our 5k presenting sponsor in 2011. Since then, they have provided enough scholarship support to fully fund almost 37 complete teams – 550 girls! In addition to their financial support, QFC generously provides in-kind donations of nutritious food for our 5K participants, signs to cheer participants along the course, gift cards for snacks at our program sites, school signs and banners for our 5k, printing and floral support for our auction events, and so much more. QFC employees also volunteer their time as coaches, running buddies, and event support.

QFC’s title sponsorship has enabled us to take our 5k to the next level and make the event a truly transformative experience for all our girls, families, volunteers, and community members. We are so grateful for the many ways in which they positively impact our organization and community. Thank you, QFC, for championing healthy living for our girls and families!

2017 GOTRPS 5K!

2017 GOTRPS 5K!

Forming a New GOTR Partnership

Forming a New GOTR Partnership

Sophie Clipson, a member of the Freshmen Social Justice Committee at Holy Names Academy, has worked with other committee members to begin a partnership with Girls on the Run of Puget Sound. The Freshmen Social Justice Committee was started just this year at Holy Names and focuses on social issues related to gender equity in the community. The committee agreed to partner with Girls on the Run because they are passionate about the GOTR mission of helping young girls love their bodies and feel confident in who they are. Also, some of the committee members had been involved with Girls on the Run as participants in the past and wanted to give back to the organization. Sophie spoke more about this intentional partnership in relation to the mission statement of Girls on the Run:

“I really like that in Girls on the Run, their mission says, “We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident…”. I think this really speaks to what we want every girl to feel. We want girls to feel happy about who they truly are, and feel confident in who they are and what they can do. In addition, I think the healthy part can play at being physically healthy, but also mentally healthy. It’s important for girls to love who they are.”

During a sunny practice in April, five members of the Freshmen Social Justice Committee attended the Girls on the Run practice at St. Therese Catholic Academy with snacks and smiles in tow. The five committee members were engaged during practice by partnering up with St. Therese GOTR girls for various activities such as warm up exercises and stretching, encouraging discussion around the main lesson topic of the day and finally, by completing the running work out as a team. GOTR Staff is excited to see Holy Names’ students acting as role models for younger girls to show them the importance of being themselves, having positive attitudes and giving back to the community. Thank you to St. Therese GOTR Coaches, Kate and Rose, and Site Liaison, Quinn, for helping foster this partnership.

May’s Girl Hero

May’s Girl Hero

Jo Bader is our May Girl Hero!

Jo first learned about GOTR at a fundraising auction. Shortly thereafter, she signed up to be a running buddy and quickly became a huge supporter of the GOTR mission. Since then, Jo has coached, chaired our auction committee, helped with special projects in our office, and has been a member of our Board of Directors for five years.  She is also a SoleMate charity runner, fundraising for scholarships to empower girls while training for her 2nd Ragnar Relay race this summer!   At GOTRPS, when we have a special project or are looking for enthusiastic, passionate super hero level support, we look to Jo…. she has done it all and done it well!  Currently, Jo is our Board Secretary and is also chairing our 5k committee.

Jo says, “One of my favorite things to do is cheer on the girls as they cross the finish line at our 5K. Words can’t describe the excitement on each girl’s face as she achieves her goal of completing a 5K race! This year we are doubling that excitement and energy at our 5K event on May 21st at a new venue at Renton Memorial Stadium. We are expecting 1400 girls, along with their running buddies and coaches. The 5K committee is working hard to make this larger event run smoothly, while taking advantage of the larger space to engage with GOTR families and supporters.”

Can’t be a coach or a running buddy but still want to experience the fun and energy of GOTR? Sign up as a community runner! After the race, stick around and cheer on the girls as they complete the final stretch of the race. We hope to see you there! Register here.

April’s Girl Hero

April’s Girl Hero

Super Power, Niki Howard!

Niki Howard began as a coach for Girls on the Run 6+ years ago.  Since then she has literally done it all….she’s been a multi-year Running Buddy, 5K volunteer, Board member for six years and even chaired our Program Committee.  Currently she serves on the Board Governance Committee, where she has helped to inform, educate and establish effective procedures that guide our Board of Directors through important decision-making and planning for years to come.

Not only has she provided invaluable leadership, but she’s been a significant force behind the growth of the Girls on the Run Program. With Niki’s help, we have grown from serving 300 girls per year in 2010 to 1400 girl this year.

Niki will tell you that being a Running Buddy is the most favorite and satisfying roles she’s played for Girls on the Run.

“The most fulfilling part of being a Running Buddy is seeing the look of complete joy and the sense of accomplishment on the girl’s face when she crosses the finish line. When they see the finish line and hear the cheers, the girl’s pace picks up, she stands a little taller.  You can see just how proud she is of herself and as a Running Buddy, I get to share in that moment; I get to contribute to that moment. And I find myself standing a little taller, too.”

Join Niki as a Running Buddy this spring and help a girl stand a little taller as she works to cross the finish line of the Girls on the Run 5K on Sunday, May 21, 2017.  It will be one of those stand out days of your life when you show a girl any goal is attainable with hard work and perseverance.

Niki is undoubtedly a Power House for Girls on the Run.  When we need muscle or brawn…she’s there!  When we need thought provoking discussions and questions to improve the quality of our program…she’s got them!  When you need a friend/advisor/coach or Running Buddy….she’s one of the very best!

Thank you, Niki, for all you do and bring to the organization! We are better and stronger because of you.

March Girl Hero

March Girl Hero

Doesn’t Get More Super Than

Super Volunteer, Lisa Henry!

Lisa Henry is our “Super” Girl Hero of the month!  As a long- time supporter of Girls on the Run,  one of the many ways she supports GOTR is by serving as a “Super Volunteer” at the Girls on the Run 5K. As a Super Volunteer, Lisa wakes up at the crack of dawn to supervise other “day of” volunteers. Not only does she welcome them with a smile and ensure they know their role for the day, but she sets them up for success, as they support the girls, Running Buddies and families in completing the 5K. Why does she do it?

“It gives young girls the opportunity to learn about the sport in a supportive and safe environment, and the excitement of participating in their first race, face paint and all! The lessons that accompany the 5k training make this program something that they can carry with them as they grow up.”

What do the volunteers that work with her at the 5K have to say about her? Inside scoop is that Lisa is really FUN to work with!

If you want to join Lisa and her enthusiasm for women and running, consider signing up as a Super Volunteer for the 5K on May 21st. Email Race Coordinator, Ilana Balint at ilana@runforgoodracingcompany.com for more info. Or if being a Super Volunteer feels like too much responsibility, consider signing up to volunteer at the 5K this year!

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