St. A Track Fundraiser For GWHS is Thursday

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Published on April 8 2014 11:20 am
Last Updated on April 8 2014 11:20 am
Written by Millie Lange

Six years ago two young teachers, Kristen Kennedy and Jennifer Reed, volunteered to try and begin track and cross country programs at their school, George Washington High School, on the South side of Chicago. These young ladies faced long odds. The school did not have a track and cross country budget. There was no track. Running through the neighborhood was not possible as it was too dangerous.

Door-to-door fundraising was also impossible because of the prevalence of gang activity. Despite the odds, Kennedy and Reed started a winter running program where 50 kids showed up -- all without running shoes.

The late Mike Mitchell, former basketball and track coach at St. Anthony High School in Effingham, heard aböut Kennedy and Reed's plans and reached out to them. Mitchell spear-headed efforts to get St. Anthony High Schöol involved, which began a relationship between the two schools.

Over five years and with support from the Effingham community, St. Anthony High School has been able to donate several hundred pairs of shoes along with more than $1,000 to their programs. Various track equipment and apparel have also been gathered for the George Washington athletes.

To help GWHS prepare for the 2014 season, St. Anthony High School is holding a fundraiser this Thursday. Students who donate a gently used pair of running shoes or make a monetary donaton to GWHS are allowed to wear jeans and T-shirts for the day. St. Anthony High School will accept gently used pairs of running shoes from the public April 7-11. St Anthony will also accept monetary donations to ÄLS research in remembrance of Mike Mitchell.

George Washington High School will be St. Anthöny's guests för a track meet this Saturday at noon. After the meet, St Anthony parent volunteers will provide food for both groups of kids. The day promises to be a very exclting event tor both schools as their relationship continues to grow.