ELHS boys’ cross country team and Veterans Day Committee plan festive event for veterans.
by: Sana Gupta
What do you get when you cross a 5K, dozens of viking runners, pom-pomming cheerleaders, and a fundraiser? These festivities describe East Lyme’s inagural Veterans Day 5K, which will take place on Nov. 11.
Sponsored by the boys’ cross country team and the Veterans Day Committee, the 5K will be held at McCook’s Point Beach in Niantic. Registration, which costs $40 on race day, will start at 7:30 a.m. and the race will begin at 9 a.m.
The event was planned by science teacher Lori Singer, history teacher Henry Kydd and boys’ cross country coach Sam Harfenist to recognize and support veterans in honor of Veterans Day.
The 5K will benefit the New London Homeless Hospitality Center, which provides aid to homeless veterans through housing and assistance.
“It’s going to be an interesting type of 5K… Mr. Kydd is MC-ing and cheerleaders are going to be passing out water and cheering when you finish. It’s going to have a carnival-like atmosphere,” said Mr. Harfenist.
Even though Ms. Singer, Mr. Kydd, and Mr. Harfenist are working hard to make the event a success, the boys’ cross country team is doing their share as well.
“Several of [the cross country team members] went to local businesses and asked for donations. They were able to earn several hundred dollars that way, which has been the basis of our expenses for the event,” said Mr. Harfenist.
The team’s impact goes beyond fundraising, however.
“Many of the team members are handing out registrations for the event… as well as helping set up…by handing out waters, race day packets, and t-shirts,” said boys’ cross country captain, senior Elijah Montleon.
Despite this, helping with the event is not restricted to just the cross country team.
“The whole school community can be involved and it even goes larger than that. It’s open to anyone who wants to run… Everyone sits at the assembly, but this is a way that everyone can help,” said Mr. Harfenist.
“[People should run because] where would America be without its military? It’s our job as civilians to take care of those in the military who have taken care of us,” said boys’ cross country captain senior Ryan McCauley.
If supporting the vets doesn’t provide enough incentive, Montleon added some comic relief.
“Also, did I mention there will be complimentary snacks and refreshments after the race?”