Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Running, charity and all that laces them together.

Friday, November 25, 2011

My Cheat Sheet on Girls on the Run . . . by heather m.

Not too long ago, I realized that I needed to learn a little more about the five charities the RunningBrooke Fund benefits. I decided to let all of our loyal followers have a look at my "cheat sheets" so they can learn more about them too. Followers may already be acquainted with some of these charities, especially this week's, Girls on the Run. Take a peek anyway. I won't tell the teacher, and you might learn something new!

And the drumroll please . . . 

     Girls on the Run International was established by Molly Barker in Charlotte, NC in 1996, and piloted with thirteen brave girls. Participation doubled in 1997 and then almost tripled that number in 1998. In 2000, Girls on the Run International became an official 501(c)(3) organization.

Molly Barker, founder of Girls on the Run International and Hawaii Ironman Triathlete

By 2010, Girls on the Run International served 80,000 girls in over 170 cities of North America and hosted 120 end-of-season 5K events across the United States and Canada.

     Girls on the Run International has chapters all over North America and our local one covering Alexandria, VA is Girls on the Run Northern Virginia (GOTRNOVA, This is their Executive Director, Catherine Keightley:


    Catherine is a runner, writer and PR expert with 17 years of experience in marketing strategy, branding, membership and customer programs. Directing GOTR NOVA is right up her alley and her leadership is much appreciated. 

     The Typical Girls on the Run Program has sessions in the spring and fall. The program runs for 10  weeks and each group is limited to 20 girls between eight and twelve years old (studies have shown that this age of girls is still very receptive to adult influence but are beginning to feel the burden of confronting many life and relationship issues) - Think of your teenager and all the things you wish you told them before they went through puberty and it seemed that their ears blocked up (but only when a reasonable adult was around, LOL!) - Each team meets twice weekly for an hour to an hour and 15 minutes, and each of these meetings focuses on a specific issue-related topic and include activities and games based on that topic. First, the coaches introduce themselves and explain the topic of the day. Girls warm up the muscles with some type of interactive activity base on the topic of the day and then discuss how the activity related to the topic. Finally, the girls perform a workout which mostly involves running laps but also integrates the topic of the day. Each lesson ends with stretching, a review of what the girls learned, a group cheer, and a snack. 
     These sessions are led by trained, volunteer female coaches who take great pleasure in mentoring and guide these girls through this fun program. All of these volunteers undergo background checks, learn the GOTR curriculum and are CPR certified. At the end of the program, the girls run a 5k event with a Buddy Runner who volunteers for the race. 
     Last year, I thought of volunteering to be a Buddy Runner, but guess what - I was too late!! They were so successful at recruiting that they didn't need me. I was pretty happy about it, because it was a VERY COLD day. On the bright side, Brooke was there, and here is the proof:

 This is Brooke and her 'Girl on the Run' !!! They made quite a stunning team, didn't they?

And, here's a particularly wonderful thing about Girls on the Run. It doesn't just help the girls who participate. Check out this BEAUTIFUL mother of a GOTR NOVA participant who has lost 135 pounds in the last year:

This beautiful woman recounted to Brooke how she had been inspired by her daughter's participation in GOTR to exercise and eat in a more healthy way. What a lovely example of the inspiration shared by the GOTR program. (Maybe they can share a little inspiration with me, LOL!)

     GOTR NOVA costs $165/girl per session. In the fall of 2010, GOTR NOVA provide over $100,000 in financial aid. By donating to the runningbrooke Fund, you will make sure that girls with financial aid will be able to participate in this wonderful program!!!! 

Girls on the Run also has many corporate sponsors who help continue the great work of this program. Thanks to all of them! :

Run, GOTR, Run!!!

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