AP NEWS

Fitchburg High Students Racing to Help

May 13, 2019

FITCHBURG -- Big hearts for little feet.

Fitchburg High’s chapter of the National Honor Society (NHS) is doing great things for children in need.

The 5K for Little Feet Road Race on Sunday -- an event run by the NHS at Fitchburg High School -- is designed to provide sneakers for children in the Fitchburg Public Schools and to help support the Fitchburg High School Unified Track Program.

“This is really important for the entire community,” said NHS President Abby Jollimore. “It’s a good way for everyone in the community to get involved and it gives back to them. People seem to really enjoy being a part of this, especially knowing what it goes toward.

“To be able to do something that is so much fun and to know it’s rewarding, it’s amazing.”

Registration will begin at 9 a.m. Walkers start at 10 a.m., followed by runners at 10:30. The cost for pre-registration is $20 or $25 the day of the race. Prizes will be awarded to the top three male and female finishers.

Runners can also register online at www.active.com/fitchburg-ma /running/5k-for-little-feet-2019.

“It does take a lot to plan it, but everyone is contributing to it,” said Race Director Emerson Scott. “It’s been really fun doing this.”

Being able to provide new sneakers for students is the main objective of this 5K race, says Treasurer Allyson Floria.

“Some kids who want to be involved in sports and want to go on the track team, you have to have good sneakers to do that,” she said. “Sometimes it’s really hard for kids to really get. It may just be a pair of sneakers to someone, but for someone that may be their opportunity to join a sport and to get more involved in other races.”

NHS advisor and teacher Katie Schmitt one day hopes her kids understand the impact they are making on fellow students and in the community.

“They won’t know until later what this experience has on their life,” she said. “It’s not going to make sense to them now, but down the road it will. You know you’re doing good, but I don’t think they really know just how much.”

Last year’s race was a tremendous success. The race had its biggest turnout, with runners from Worcester even attending the event. In the end, Little Feet raised over $4,000 and were able to donate 100 pairs of sneakers for kids in Fitchburg Public Schools.

“When we did find out how much we made and realized how much of an impact we made, it felt so good that we could change so many people,” Scott said. “Even something so small as getting new sneakers can be a big thing for a lot of kids. Knowing we could do this from this race is so awesome.”

Mark Minnucci, who oversees Unified Track at FHS, is so appreciative of the NHS and the 5K for Little Feet Race.

“Unified Track really appreciates this partnership,” he said “We appreciate everything that this event does for us.”

In the end, it’s all about giving back to the community.

“I also think it’s a really important experience for all of us to be able to help out kids in the middle schools,” said NHS Vice President Anna Jordan. “I really enjoy being a part of this. This is very important to me, and it’s very important to them, too.”

A lot of big hearts for little feet.