Apr 14, 2010 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Organizers encourage area youth to form teams
Two years ago, Paige’s Butterfly Run moved downtown.
After 10 years of being held at Palmer Elementary, where 8-year-old Paige Yeomans Arnold attended school before succumbing to cancer in 1994, the run was moved to Syracuse to help more children.
“The run was moved downtown in conjunction with a Taste of Syracuse in an attempt to draw more participants and ultimately raise more dollars for pediatric oncology patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital. The move proved to be a big success,” said Susan Bertrand, a volunteer with Paige’s Butterfly Run. “This year’s goal is to hit the million-dollar mark in total funds raised.”
A popular event for both the Baldwinsville community and central New York residents, Paige’s Butterfly Run will offer a new component this year aimed at teens. Event coordinators are encouraging youth from school districts throughout central New York to form youth teams for the annual race.
To kick-off the program, a PBR youth team meeting was held this past Sunday and featured presentations by Chris Arnold, Paige’s father and coordinator of Paige’s Butterfly Run, Bryan Morgan of Dynamic Health and Fitness in Liverpool and several student representatives.
Arnold gave students a brief overview of the run, which is scheduled for Saturday June 5 in downtown Syracuse, while Morgan conducted interactive team building activities to encourage a sense of community among the students from various school districts. Student representatives from each district also shared a few words with the group about why they have run in the past or are choosing to form a team this year.
“Most of the teens are planning to have their team run in memory or in honor of a friend or classmate that has been touched by cancer,” Bertrand said.
The concept of forming youth teams came about after 58 students from Baldwinsville formed teams last year through Maureen’s Hope Youth Group and the Baker High School Key Club.
“To see these young teens arriving for the run on a Saturday morning at 8 a.m. is a simple reminder of how compassionate and caring our youth are. It was such a positive day for our kids that we wanted to open the door for teens from other school districts to share in that same experience,” she said.
Paige’s Butterfly Run currently has students from Baldwinsville, East Syracuse-Minoa, Jamesville-Dewitt, Fayetteville-Manlius, Sandy Creek and Liverpool forming youth teams.
“Many of these students have had classmates that have been touched by cancer and the event allows them to put their energy in a positive direction and help raise funds to support other children facing the same challenges,” Bertrand said.
Bertrand’s reason for being involved? It’s simple. “When you visit the Pediatric Oncology Floor at Golisano Children’s Hospital, you want nothing more than to find a cure for cancer . . . now,” she said.
To register for the event or to form a team for your school, visit paigesbutterflyrun.org or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Naomi Glenister, who was diagnosed with cancer at the young age of 16 and treated for two years at University Hospital (now Golisano Children’s Hospital), addresses students interested in forming teams for Paige’s Butterfly Run during last Sunday’s kick-off meeting. Now 19 and cancer free, Naomi shared a few words about how the support of other kids, even if they are strangers, can mean so much when facing the rough road of cancer treatments. “It can be a time of isolation for many children, so having kids running for kids at Paige’s Butterfly Run is certainly going to be a source of strength and comfort for pediatric oncology patients at Golisano Children’s Hospital,” said Susan Bertrand, who is helping to organize youth teams. “The students understand that their presence and passion can and will make a difference. They care and they are our future and our hope.”
Baldwinsville students will run in Naomi’s honor during this year’s event held June 5 in downtown Syracuse.
To register for the event, visit paigesbutterflyrun.org or e-mail email@example.com.