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GOTR-042514On Saturday, May 31, 2014 women and girls are coming together to celebrate sisterhood! Third through fifth grade girls and their mentors will be celebrating the completion of the Girls On The Run program with a 5K Fun Run/Walk called the Diva Dash. And they would like for you to run with them!

"Georgetown Square will come alive as 70 or more girls from 4 schools have fun running 3.2 miles," said Gail Gerber, chairman for the race.

Girls on the Run of Allen County is committed to inspiring girls between the ages of 8 and 11. Joyful, healthy and confident is the motto using a fun, experience-based curriculum that creatively integrates running.

For 10 weeks, coaches like Gail Gerber and Sandy Junk teach the necessary lessons of life while training these girls for a race. During this after-school program, girls learn how to manage and react to bullies, develop self-esteem and confidence, make new friends and discuss other issues encountered during middle school and high school.

Girls on the Run of Allen County teaches these lessons through fun running games and activities that enable girls to think for themselves, yet remaining respectful of others opinions.

"As we run, we talk about healthy emotions, dealing with bullies, good things to eat, cooperation and negotiation. Learning to say nice things about yourself, too."

When you want to blow off steam, run. When you need to think or problem solve, run. When you want to feel full of energy and happy, run. Want to make more friends, run.
"The pace doesn't matter," said coach Sandy from St. Vincents, "some girls are fast, some like to go slower and some like to walk. The pace doesn't matter; it's about being active."

"It's a great program because it isn't just about getting in shape for running, it's also about the mental and emotional part of growing up," said Gail Gerber.

The 10-week program meets twice a week at area schools. With the support of coaches and volunteers the program is completed with a celebratory 5K running event.

"We are excited about what these girls are going to accomplish through the GOTR program," said Sandy Junk.

Anyone can register for the Diva Dash Fun Run/Walk go to runrace.net. Find the race: Diva Dash, Saturday, May 31, 8am, Georgetown Square, Fort Wayne, IN. There is a $15 registration fee. However, if you sign up at Three Rivers Running Company on May 10 between 11am and 3pm, the first 10 girls will receive $5 off their registration. Or, if you sign up online and use the code: HOPPY you can receive $5 off.

Each participant will be entered into a raffle drawing with a possibility of winning a door prize. Prizes for the age group finishers include a tiara.

In addition to the fun run, there will be other planned activities including a 50-yd. Mascot Dash with Johnny TinCap, River City Rat, Don the Mastodon, Azar's Big Boy, just to name a few.

As in the Disney movie "Frozen" the message at Girls on the Run is, "Stop trying to live up to other people's expectations of you. Be who you are." As Elsa does in the end of the movie, support and stay loyal to each other, love and support your family, friends and community. And most of all, don't stop having fun...come run!


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