Girls on the Run 5K of Lehigh County 5K run/walk a huge success

Bethlehem, Pa. (Saturday June 6, 2015)

A Girls on the Run participant receives a high-five on crossing the 5K finish line.

The recent 2015 Girls on the Run of Lehigh County 5K, held on the Lehigh Parkway, was the largest the local chapter has ever hosted.

Some 450 girls in grades three through five in Lehigh Valley school districts participated, each running with a "Running Buddy," bringing the total of participants to close to 900, says Liz Fones, council director. Diakon Child, Family & Community Ministries sponsors the local chapter.

"The event is the celebration of 10 weeks of hard work for girls in the program. They train to run the non-competitive 5K while learning important life lessons," Fones explains. "They have a sense of pride and accomplishment after finishing the event, which was very evident at our May event by the number of smiles at the finish line!"

Girls on the Run is a transformational physical activity-based youth-development program for girls in third through eighth grades. The program teaches life skills through interactive lessons and running games, culminating with participants being physically and emotionally prepared to complete the celebratory 5k running event. The goal of the program is to unleash confidence through accomplishment while establishing a lifetime appreciation for health and fitness.

Diakon has hosted the Lehigh Valley chapter since 2007.  

In addition to Diakon's support, the program receives significant sponsorship funding from the Women's 5K Classic, the United Way of the Greater Lehigh Valley, and Highmark.

In fact, the Women's 5k Classic is a "legacy partner" with Girls on the Run of Lehigh County, having supported the program since 2007, with grant donations totaling $135,000. Its 2015 grant of $15,000 supports participation in the program by 65 girls from grades 3 through 8 from the Sheridan, Union Terrace, and Washington elementary schools as well as one additional site to be determined for fall.

"We hope to continue to grow the program and to seek out additional funding to be able to provide Girls on the Run program at more sites and to allow even more girls to participate, regardless of their family's financial means," says Fones.

For further information, please contact:
William Swanger, M.A., APR
Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications
Diakon Lutheran Social Ministries
(717) 795-0308