GRANGEVILLE For Grangeville High School senior Kate Lutz, the idea for her senior project was a no-brainer.
“My sister, Addie, started the Flamingo Fun Run four years ago, and then she also focused on it for her senior project,” Lutz explained.
The fun run is in honor of a family friend, Oakley, who has SMA (spinal muscular atrophy).
“All the funds raised go toward SMA,” Lutz said.
Just because the idea was set and Lutz has been affiliated with the run since its inception doesn’t mean the process has all been easy for her.
“I have definitely had to get out of my comfort zone when it comes to speaking to business owners and asking for money,” she said.
All funds raised from the run will go to Cure SMA.
“I think it’s really important to find a cure, and it’s also really important to just raise awareness of the diseases, since we have someone in our community who is affected by it,” Lutz said. “One day if everyone knows what SMA is, maybe they won’t even ask, and it won’t be that different.”
She also feels the process of going through the senior project idea, implementation and follow-up is good for students.
“Not only because it’s a community service, a way to give back, but also because the experience is good for the future – what will come as we apply for college scholarships and jobs.”
Lutz said the 5K (three mile) fun run is for everyone – despite age or ability.
“You don’t have to run, either,” she smiled. Walkers, wheelchairs, strollers, sprinters – anyone who wants to participate is invited to do so.
A special event that coincides with this year’s run is Oakley’s birthday.
“She will turn 7 the day of the race,” Lutz said. “I just love her. She’s very positive and fun.”
The event will be held Saturday, Sept. 30, during Oktoberfest weekend. Run check-in and start is at the parking lot of Umpqua Bank. Check-in and get a number (or register without a T-shirt) at 8:30 a.m. and start the race at 9:30 a.m.
To receive a Flamingo Fun Run T-shirt, register online at flamingofunrun.com by Monday, Sept. 18. Cost for kids 10 and younger is $10 and those 11 and older are $20 each.
The day of the race will offer a variety of raffles for $1 apiece. For details call Lutz at 208-507-0470.