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Paige's Butterfly Run aims for a million

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.

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