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Girls on the Run

Updated: Monday, October 7 2013, 09:38 AM EDT
News 13 continues our challenge to help give back.  Our morning anchors are spotlighting three local charities every month.

Voting opens up on our WLOS Facebook page in two weeks for one of them to win a $1,000.

We are hitting the ground running this month.  This organization gets girls across western North Carolina to take charge of their lives and get in shape at the same time.

Leicester Elementary's girls on the run team runs a relay race as part of the after school program.

Gina Benardo, coach, "we were talking about eating healthy but we had a relay race involved so that works on our physical health but also uses our mental health and thinking about how we are eating and being healthy with foods we are eating."

Girls on the Run of Western North Carolina works with 3rd to 8th graders from across the mountains.  The program uses running to teach self confidence, joy and a healthy lifestyle to their girls.  They embrace individuality, but even with running in the title, this group does so much more than just race.

Gina, "we really focus on the whole girl. Talking about healthy eating, making good choices with our friends how we can work on our self esteem and how we can be a healthy girl inside and out."   

A message nine year old Mackenzie Walker and 8 year old Braelyn Grooms is getting loud and clear.

Mackenzie, fourth grader, "being in girls on the run makes me feel strong like I can do anything and no matter what anyone says I can still do it."

Braelyn, third grader, "it helps me express myself because I'm really shy."

All the teams across western North Carolina meet twice a year for a 5k, "it's a real celebration for being a healthy well rounded girl."

And what about that prize money?  That will help with their philosophy that they don't turn any girls away.

"The thousand dollars would go a long way to pay for scholarships for girls so they can be part of the girls on the run program in their community."

To find out more about girls on the run, click here. Girls on the Run


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