By Nadine Buckley and Veronica Rice
As you drive around the pothole-filled streets of New Castle, it’s not uncommon to see Shenango’s Cross Country team running along the side of the road clad in neon yellows and pinks, dodging cars and enduring both the hot rays of the summer sun and the cold winds of fall. One of the most prominent members of the team is senior Haley Earl, who has been with the sport since 7th grade.
Along with her Cross Country training and the amount of school work that comes with being a twelfth grader, Haley has chosen to take on the additional task of organizing a 5K for her senior project. However, it means a lot more to her than a grade. All proceeds will go towards the West Central Epilepsy foundation, a place close to Haley as she herself was diagnosed with Epilepsy when she was very young.
Haley’s recently taken on a cause that is very close to her heart. She recalls that in elementary school, her friends would get mad at her when at times she would stare off into space and not respond for minutes on end. They were too young to realize that what they interpreted as rudeness was actually a seizure. Haley’s parents eventually took her to a neurologist where they discovered she had epilepsy.
Now Haley wants to give back to the West Central Epilepsy Foundation for all the hard work and research that they have done for her and their many other patients affected by epilepsy. Organizing a 5K was the perfect platform to pair her desire to support the foundation with her passion for running.
“Getting runners and helpers was a ton of work, but thankfully I had my parents, my teacher, Mrs. McKissick, and the community to help bring this together,” Haley said.
Shenango’s Cross Country Coach Chris Thompson was very impressed and proud of Haley’s accomplishments. “Haley is an extremely hard worker who puts 110 percent in everything she does. This can be seen by what she has accomplished on the cross country course and her work in the classroom. She has put a lot of time and effort into organizing the 5K. The 5K is for a cause that is very important to Haley, and she has done a great job putting the event together.”
The 5K will take place in Pearson Park on November 10th. You can register early and guarantee yourself a T-shirt by sending a check for $20.00 to Laurie Earl (in the memo line write ‘Run to fight Epilepsy 5k”). Send the check to 649 Gardner Center Rd., New Castle PA, 16101. The cost on the day of the race will be $25.00. Check-in will be early in the morning, from 7:30 to 8:45. The race itself will begin at 9:00. The race is open to everybody, and awards will be given after the race to the following age groups; 11 to 14, 15 to 19, 20 to 29, 30 to 39, 40 to 49, and 50+.
Contact Haley Earl at 724-944-6659 or at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.