UP Senior's Race to Help Soldiers
Amid the hectic hustle that is the demanding day-to-day schedule of a college-bound student athlete's senior year, Kayla Lively from Union Pines High School still has found a way to give back to her community by organizing a fundraising race to benefit the Wounded Warriors Project.
Both the cause and the event are near Lively's heart. Her father is a member of the armed forces, and she is a senior captain on the Union Pines girls' cross country team.
"The reason I picked the Wounded Warriors Project (WWP) is because my father is in the military," said Lively. "He has friends that have been wounded in action, and I wanted to be able to help them in some way. Also, if my father were to ever go overseas and come back with an injury, I'd like to think other people would do the same for him.
"I really just want to have a positive impact on the community in a realm outside of athletics or the dramatic arts and be able to give back to the people who have given us so much."
The event is a 5,000-kilometer walk/run that will take place Oct. 24 at Woodlake Country Club in Vass. The entry fee is $15 with all proceeds going directly to the WWP. Registration begins on site at 9 a.m., and the race starts at 10 a.m. on the south side of the marina.
The WWP is a non-profit charity whose mission is to raise awareness for the needs of wounded troops, to aid disabled soldiers financially and to provide services for the severely wounded.
"It is basically a charity that provides for our troops that were wounded in action so they can have the ability to live a fuller life," said Lively.
Lively's own life is certainly full at the moment.
"My senior year is insane," she said. "My life is made up of deadlines now. Between working on college applications, school, cross country and travel soccer, I have almost no free time."
Lively is in the top 10 percentile of her class academically and is carrying a full load of advanced placement courses. She is also one of three editors assigned to the school yearbook and an active member of Key Club, Student Government and Senior Mentors, as well as the International Thespian Society, National Honor Society, Musical Club and Youth Group.
Last year she was named the 2008 Union Pines Female Athlete of the Year. As a two-time captain of the girls' soccer team, she has twice received all-region honors and is a three-time all-conference selection. She also earned a spot on the all-state team as a sophomore.
Currently, she is in the midst of her fourth year with the Lady Viking cross country team, which won a regional crown last season.
"For me running is a real stress reliever," she said. "When you run and are basically at the point of exhaustion, it is almost impossible to think about anything else. It is a way to escape the world and your worries."
Sponsors and Donations Needed
As of now, Lively is still in the process of securing sponsors for the race and is looking for more donations.
"Since this process is still ongoing, I will hopefully have many more people to recognize," Lively said, "but for now I would like to thank River Jack Outdoor Trading Co. and Rainbow Cycles (both located in historic downtown Southern Pines on NE Broad Street) for making donations. I would also like to thank the Lake Committee at Woodlake and the Woodlake Triathlon, who have both donated funds for the run/walk.
"In addition I especially want to take time to thank my family, who have been really supportive and helpful, along with Don Jones, who has offered much assistance on the logistics of organizing a race, and finally, all those who are going to come out to the race and participate in helping our heroes."
For more information about this event, Lively can be contacted at (910) 528-0229.
Contact F.W. Manning II at 639-5481 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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