Girl’s 4-H leadership project leads to 5, 10 K runs
Lauren Hoge’s hard work will pay off when the first person crosses the finish line Sept. 5.
Lauren, a home-schooled senior, spent the past two years planning and organizing the Run for Youth 5K/10 run/walk event to benefit De Soto Youth Ministries as part of her senior leadership project for 4-H. The work of the Leavenworth County Reno Bob Whites 4-H Club member will make De Soto Days weekend even more eventful.
“I was trying to figure our what I wanted to do for my projects and my parents were talking about my youth group and how I could do something to give back to them,” Lauren said.
After speaking with leaders at De Soto Youth Ministries, Lauren set out to raise awareness.
“They were really pleased,” she said. “They thought it was a good idea to do a walk/run to raise support for them. And they were excited that a teen was wanting to be more involved.”
For past leadership projects Lauren collected books for SafeHome and made blankets for an orphanage.
“This was an extremely bigger undertaking,” she said. “I contacted the director of Ocean’s for Mercy to get information on how to organize a run/walk.”
The tips proved helpful for Lauren and committees were soon set up to get the run/walk underway.
“I had people sign up for what they wanted to do and I put them in committees in charge of things like sound, traffic and the breakfast,” she said.
About 15 people have helped in the committees to put on the event. Lauren checks in on the groups frequently to see progress.
“We meet once a month at DYM and I have a schedule we follow,” she said. “It’s like a regular meeting and for every committee. We talk about what they are working on and ask questions.”
With the event date looming, Lauren said volunteers have been promoting the Run for Youth with posters, meetings and advertisements.
“We just had something at a church the other day to get people registered,” she said. “Before that we had about 15 people registered but we’re still working to get more people.”
Registrations for the run can be found online at desotoyouthministries.org or late registration is available from 6:30 to 7:30 a.m. the morning of the race.
The race costs $18 for those 13 years and older and $5 for participants 12 years old or younger. Each registration includes a T-shirt.
The event has grown from a simple to walk/run to include a pancake breakfast, also to benefit DYM, Lauren said.
The all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast begins at 7:30 and ends at 11 a.m. Tickets for the breakfast are $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens, $3 for those 10 years old and under and free for those 2 years old or younger. Race participants receive a pass to the breakfast.
Both the 5K and 10K races begin at The Crossing Youth Center at 8 a.m. and loop through downtown De Soto.
“I’m excited,” Lauren said. “I can’t wait to see how the whole event turns out. Even if we don’t get many people involved, it will be great.”
Lauren said her family has been talking about continuing the race next year.
“I’d love to help again but I might not coordinate it,” she said. “We’ll see how this year goes. I’d love to see DYM continue it.”