AVON – On Wednesday, July 31, Girls on the Run – Avon presented a check in the amount of $1,130.83 to the Avon Community Playground Fund during their monthly meeting at the Avon Village Hall.
Girls on the Run – Avon (GOTR) was launched in the spring of 2013 by local runners and moms, Kristi Hughes and Traci Phillips. Both attended an informational meeting held by the Rochester Chapter of Girls on the Run, who were interested in expanding into Livingston County. With the support of the Avon business community, particularly Sweet Arts Bakery, Joyful Beginnings Child Care, Pride & Joy Child Care, S & S Apparel, Isaac Heating, Vonglis Farms, and the Avon PTA, Avon GOTR became a reality.
Girls on the Run is a curriculum-based developmental youth sports program for girls in grades 3 – 8. Trained volunteers teach life skills through dynamic, interactive lessons and running games. The 10-week program culminates with the girls being physically and emotionally prepared to complete a celebratory 5K running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation of health and fitness.
This spring, 46 girls, ages 8 to 14, participated in Avon’s inaugural season and completed the 5K celebration held at Monroe Community College. One of the sessions involved completing a community service project. After brainstorming ideas and voting, the girls decided to raise money for charity by collecting pledges for each lap they ran around the track. More than $2,000 was raised in total, with the proceeds split between the Avon Community Playground, Human Society of Livingston County and the Oklahoma Tornado victims. The girls chose to give the largest portion to the Playground Fund.
“The girls immediately thought of the Playground Fund and, as coaches, we couldn’t think of a more fitting choice for GOTR than one that combines fun, health, fitness and contributing to the betterment of the Avon community,” said Kristi Hughes, head coach of the grades 6-8 GOTR team.
“We couldn’t be more proud of the girls, not only for their success in raising funds for our community, but also for training for 10 weeks in rain, snow, sleet, wind, and excessive heat and for meeting their goal of crossing the finish line at the 5K celebration,” added Traci Phillips, head coach grades 3-5.
The Avon Community Playground Fund initiative is being undertaken to support the development of the children of Avon in a healthy, natural environment through unstructured play. Funds raised will replace the existing playground in the Avon Driving Park with a more complete, age appropriate layout that is in compliance with the current standards and guidelines for playgrounds and playground safety. The new playground will give children the opportunity to grow and prosper through more creative and natural events. The existing playground has minimal equipment that is very old; some of the equipment was removed recently because it was believed to be unsafe. The new playground will be constructed by Bears and will include separate areas for two age groups; ages 2-5 and 5-12. There will also be a natural play area that will encourage respect of and closeness with nature.
To date, the Playground Fund has raised over $16,000 through partnerships with Avon Rotary, ACE, the Village of Avon and the people of Avon. To learn more and to donate, visit www.avoncommunityplayground.com