2017-01-20 / Neighbors

Students run to help those who cannot

Inaugural 5K raises funds for Limbs International
By Alicia Doyle
Special to the Acorn


GROUP EFFORT—Royal High International Baccalaureate students, from left, Parker George, Alex Stanton, Kayla Hitt, Abigail Rogers, Laura Stuck, Parker Nolan, Mark Kaneshiro, James Lemkin and Tyler Tran are organizing the inaugural 5K Rivalry Run to raise funds for nonprofit Limbs International. The run takes place Sun., Jan. 29 at Rancho Simi Community Park. 
Courtesy of James Lemkin GROUP EFFORT—Royal High International Baccalaureate students, from left, Parker George, Alex Stanton, Kayla Hitt, Abigail Rogers, Laura Stuck, Parker Nolan, Mark Kaneshiro, James Lemkin and Tyler Tran are organizing the inaugural 5K Rivalry Run to raise funds for nonprofit Limbs International. The run takes place Sun., Jan. 29 at Rancho Simi Community Park. Courtesy of James Lemkin A group of nine International Baccalaureate students at Royal High School are hosting the inaugural 5K Rivalry Run this month with the goal of raising $3,000 for Limbs International, a nonprofit that makes prosthetic limbs for people in developing countries.

“Each prosthetic is $300,” said James Lemkin, one of the nine seniors organizing the event. “(Three thousand dollars would) provide 10 people with prosthetics and give them the ability to work and provide for their families.

Registration for the event is $15, “which means it only takes 20 people to change the life of someone living in a developing country,” James, 17, said. “We only need 200 people to meet our goal of $3,000.”

The 5K Rivalry Run will begin at 8 a.m. Sun., Jan. 29 at Rancho Simi Community Park duck pond.

The group originally intended to have the run correspond with Royal and Simi

Valley High

School’s spirit week, which is geared to boost school spirit ahead of winter sports, hence the name “Rivalry Run.”

Although the students decided to keep the name, the run is open to everybody.

“We thought it would be fun and interesting to organize a run that would benefit people who aren’t able to run themselves,” said Abigail Rogers, 18, a student in Royal’s IB program for the last two years. “We’re providing limbs with our own ability to run, combined with our passion and dedication.”

Earning a diploma in the International Baccalaureate program includes completing a community service or volunteer project.

“Instead of the nine of us doing a project all separately, we decided to do it as one mass effort and create a group out of it,” Abigail said. “So we’re fulfilling all of our requirements together, which is really fun because we all have different jobs.”

Abigail is in charge of communications and marketing, which involves making fliers and spreading the word about the event on campus.

“James is working with the city on permits, and we have graphic designers (who) did the logo and website,” the teen said. “We went through everybody’s talents and interests so we would be the most effective.”

Parker Nolan, 18, created the run’s website, simirivalryrun.com.

“Our goal is to raise $3,000, but the other goal is to showcase the school spirit in town while bringing everybody together,” Parker said.

This isn’t the first time the students have raised money for Limbs International. Last spring, IB students conducted their first fundraiser for the nonprofit with a video game tournament. They raised $1,500.

“This year we wanted to do something a little more sustainable for a wider audience that was a little more active,” Parker said. “It’s going to be a great event. We’ll have a deejay, food trucks and some vendors.”

Despite the name of the event, the teens are not trying to create a rivalry or battle among people, Abigail said.

“We want to bring people together in order to all work together for the common good, for a common purpose,” she said. “This shows that even a little group that comes together can do a lot.”

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