By Maggie McManis
Textbooks have closed for the summer, backpacks are stored in closets to collect dust for the next couple of months and most students are willingly taking a break from all things school-related.
But students in one high school club — the Freedom From Hunger Club — are hard at work organizing their primary event of the year: the Race to End Hunger, which takes place Saturday, June 22, at Davis High School.
For seven years, the student-run club has been conducting a variety of events that involve both students and community members to raise money for a nonprofit organization called Freedom from Hunger. The organization raises money to help women in Africa, Asia and Latin America by providing microfinancing, education, health education and cash management services.
Last year, the founding students of the school club — which grows larger every year — came up with a fun way to include the whole community in their fundraising efforts. They held their first Race to End Hunger, open to all ages.
This year the race is even bigger and better, with more races for more age groups.
The event kicks off with a 5K run at 9 a.m. on the track at Ron & Mary Brown Stadium, followed by 14 additional events, including field events like the triple jump, long jump and high jump, as well as multiple running events, from a 50-meter kids’ run to hurdles and relays.
Participants of all ages and abilities are invited and all proceeds from the event will go to Freedom from Hunger.
The club’s senior co-presidents, Mo Xu and Laney Teaford, have been diligently working with the other members in the club to raise as much money as possible for Freedom from Hunger this year.
And while the summer race is now the club’s heart and soul, students also have participated in other events throughout the year.
“For the past few years we have done a shoe drive for (the Short-Term Emergency Aid Committee),” said Teaford, who added that club members have organized other events as well.
She said the club’s success is the result of student dedication, which results in not just participating in activities, but also making them happen.
“I decided to join the club my sophomore year since it sounded like it was for a good cause and I liked how, unlike other clubs, Freedom From Hunger planned events whereas some of the other clubs just have members participate in events,” said Teaford, who graduated from DHS on Friday.
She says anyone is welcome to participate in this year’s race or simply donate to the cause. Do so by visiting their website, www.racetoendhunger.wordpress.com.
Participants also can register on the day of the race by arriving at the stadium on Oak Avenue by 8 a.m.