School project tackles hungerSchool’s out for summer, but not for Levi Felton. The Superior High School senior is pacing his way through the myriad details involved in creating a 5k run/walk – the Osaugie Open Run for Hunger – from scratch.
By: Maria Lockwood, Superior Telegram
School’s out for summer, but not for Levi Felton.
The Superior High School senior is pacing his way through the myriad details involved in creating a 5k run/walk – the Osaugie Open Run for Hunger – from scratch.
“It’s a lot more work than I thought it would be,” he said. “It’s not impossible, but I’m glad I’m doing it in the summer when I have the time.”
This isn’t just a race. The Aug. 21 event serves as a fundraiser, a chance to help feed those in need, and a school project, blended into a 5k course with picturesque views of the bay.
All proceeds from the race are earmarked for the Salvation Army food shelf in Superior. Felton hopes to raise at least $1,000 through this senior project.
“More than that would be great,” he said.
Maj. Rosemary Mattson of the Salvation Army was pleased about the fundraiser.
“How wonderful,” she said. Although they recently received a share of 1,400 pounds of food collected during the Citizen’s Fourth of July Parade, it’s all gone. Summer food drives are few and far between, Mattson said. Yet need remains steady. A total of 675 families used the food shelf in June.
“We see a lot of people in cars, a lot of people homeless,” said Della Rader, secretary for the organization. “I had one family here that had kids. I went out and got a can opener for them because they didn’t even have a can opener.”
Senior projects are required for graduation at Superior High School. They run the gamut from reports on a possible future career or learning a new skill to original plays and service projects.
The idea for the fundraiser was pitched to Felton by Mike Matejka, a senior project coordinator at the high school, and coached by mentor Christina Kintop. Once school let out in June, Felton turned his attention to creating the race.
“I lent him the wheel to measure the course,” said Cross Country Coach Dan Conway. “He’s a good runner and a good kid.”
Running was an easy event choice for the senior, one of three co-captains for this year’s cross country team.
“Sometimes you have a lot on your mind, and if you can just go for a run, it’s a really good escape,” Felton said. “It’s just a nice place to relax.”
The course is very flat, beginning and ending near the entrance to Barker’s Island.
“I run down this way pretty often,” Felton said.
And the Salvation Army, he said, was a “solid” choice to help.
“I saw they’ve been having problems with the food shelf, as far as not being able to stock up lately,” Felton said. “Food’s going out too fast. I figure that’s a good way to help out.”
Paving the way to turn concept into reality has taken a month and a half.
To date, the senior has filled out city forms and contacted the IRS to set up a separate bank account, complete with employee account numbers.
“Me, myself and I,” Felton joked.
He set up a free Web site, www.osaugieopen.webs.com/, designed registration forms, and put posters up around the city.
Once registrations start arriving in the mail, the senior will place a T-shirt order with a local vendor and look into setting up markers, timers and a PA system.
Felton said the real-world application is a change of pace from traditional class work.
“You’re on your own, you’ve got to kind of figure things out for yourself, which can be rough, but you really get a better experience from it,” he said.
Although this is a one-time project, the teen hopes future seniors will take the idea and run with it.
“I’d like to set it up this year so it can go on for other kids in other years … so they can take on this project,” Felton said. “It’s decent. You really get your work in.”
And, he added, “It’s fun to do.”
Race registration begins at 8 a.m. Aug. 21, with the race starting at 9 a.m. Race admission is $15; T-shirts cost $10. In addition, donations of nonperishable foods and money will be accepted at the event. Registration forms are available at www.osaugieopen.webs.com/ and must be mailed to race headquarters. T-shirt orders will only be taken through Aug. 5.
Registrations will be accepted up until the day of the race.