When school district budget cuts hit the Peters Township High School cross-country team, the group decided to do what it knows best—and that is to run—to raise the money needed for the team to continue.
As a result, the second Peters Twp Cross Country 5K race will be held on Saturday, June 16, at the Peters Township Recreation Center.
The race starts at 9 a.m. Registration is $25.
The 5K race is sponsored by the cross-country team as a way to raise funds for the season.
Last year, the district instituted a "Pay for Play" policy where each student had to pay $90 to participate in a sport, according to information provided by the team. In addition, the district requested a contribution from each team's Booster Group to pay for the sport's lowest-paid assistant coach. For most sports, this amounted to more than $2,000.
In addition, there have been cuts to the budget limiting the number of meets the team can attend unless the parents/booster groups raise funds to pay meet entry fees. This year, there is discussion of helping fund expenses for transportation and more through further contributions.
"It is very difficult for a few parents to make up for large budget deficits without the value of the team experience being compromised for the athletes," said Barb Wehn, president of the high school Cross Country Booster Club. "An event like this 5K is bringing the community together to help these students stretch themselves and reach their goals."
So far, generous financial support has come from the following sponsors: Med Express, Lakeside Primary Care, Massage Envy, Bruster's Ice Cream, Canonsburg General Hospital, Cardello Electric & Lighting, Clearview Federal Credit Union, Mathnasium Learning Center, Mayberry Orthodontics, Moe's Southwest Grill, Mortland Physical Therapy, Pay Governance, Miller's Ace Hardware, Opeka Auto Repair, Steliotes Dental Spa and Angela's Salon.
The revenue from last year's race was used to pay for a tent to shield the team from sun or inclement weather at meets, which can last for hours. Having adequate shelter ultimately makes for a better experience and helps the athletes perform at the peak, Wehn said.
"This could not have been accomplished without the support of the community and this event," she said.
Saturday's race begins at the Peters Township Recreation Center, through a short path in the woods and onto the paved Arrowhead trail. It continues along the trail starting at a downhill pace. The turnaround point will offer a water station.
The return trip continues along the path and ends back at the recreational center. The fun, family-oriented event offers an opportunity for families to compete individually as well as in teams of siblings, parent/child and husband/wife. Awards will also be given to winners in nine different age groups from 10 and under, to 60-plus. Runners of all abilities can participate.
Advance registration guarantees runners a T-shirt, but walk-ins on the day of the race are welcome. On-site registration will take place from 7:30 until 8:45 the morning of the race.
Registration forms can be obtained at the recreation center or via email at PetersTwpCrossCountry@aol.com.