LIBERTY Liberty High School is proud to host the Spring Fling 5K Race/Walk on Saturday, April 30.
The race is the first of what organizers hope will be an annual event. The brain child of junior Kate Heinle, the Spring Fling race is ironically the end result of broken leg.
Kate, a three-season athlete, suffered a broken leg at the start of the 2010 soccer season. What would have devastated any scholar-athlete did just the opposite for her it served as a catalyst.
“As the saying goes,” Kate explained, “when a door is closed, somewhere a window is opened.”
Inspired by the anti-bullying program, “Rachel’s Challenge,” presented at Liberty High School this past autumn, Heinle, a running enthusiast, wanted to do something that gave back to the school and community.
“The idea of the 5K was perfect for her,” explained Kim Heinle, Kate’s mother and a Liberty Elementary School teacher. “She is very organized, and coordinating the 5K helped keep her involved as an athlete.”
Organizing a race/walk is no small undertaking, especially when starting from scratch. Road closures, village and town approvals, sponsorship and prize solicitation, advertising and route coordination are just a few of the hurdles Kate and her committee have tackled. The committee is comprised of Faculty Advisors Sally Forbidusi, Jason Semo, Kim Heinle and Principal Jack Strassman as well as fellow juniors Kane Sauchuck, Sydney Goldstein and Katie Burke.
The group recently met with New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther, who will read a proclamation and officially start the race. Gunther’s “A-Team” will also be there to support the assemblywoman and participate in the race.
“It was wonderful meeting the Assemblywoman,” Kate Heinle said. “We are really grateful for her support and glad she and her team will be at the race.”
Proceeds from the Spring Fling will support anti-bullying initiatives at Liberty Central School and a portion will also be donated directly to Rachel’s Challenge, a not-for-profit organization named for Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine (Colo.) High School shooting on April 20, 1999. Rachel’s Challenge tells the story of her life as a compassionate and kind-hearted teenager.
“The Rachel’s Challenge program really touched a lot of us,” Kate Heinle said. “Since we took part in it, there is a noticeable difference in the way we treat each other. Our goal with this race is to help keep the momentum and awareness going.”
Registration for the Spring Fling 5K begins at 7 a.m. on Saturday, April 30 at the Liberty High School. Pre-registration is $15 and registration on the day of the event is $20.
A youth fun-run for children in Kindergarten to sixth grade will take place after the main race begins at 9 a.m.
For more information or to download a race registration form and route map, please visit www.libertyk12.org.