Middlebury runners lacing up for local charity

Most runners register for a road race with a special goal in mind to win (or be in the top 10), to set a personal best, or maybe just to finish and get a t-shirt. And while the 40 members of Team CFES may have their own individual reasons for running the Marine Corps Marathon or 10K Race in Arlington, Va., this fall, they'll step to the starting line on Oct. 25 sharing one greater aim: to give underserved youth a running start toward college.

That's because each member of Team CFES commits to raise $1,500 to support CFES activities, such as mentoring programs, student leadership initiatives, and college visits, that boost academic aspiration and performance for low-income students. Their efforts will go a long way to help the organization raise $100,000 for its programs nationwide.

Nine of these runners also share another commonality - their connection to Middlebury College. Andrew Helming, Class of 2004 and member of the CFES Board, is spearheading Team CFES training and fundraising efforts and running the marathon. He'll be hitting the pavement with former classmates and Panther hockey teammates Erick Dalton, Levi Doria, Michael Kennedy, and John Dawson, now the college's assistant men's hockey coach. Head coach Bill Beaney and former Panther (and Helming teammate) Marc Scheuer '04 will run the 10K along with Helming's wife, Amanda Green Helming '05, and Courtney Campbell '04.

College For Every Student, a nonprofit based in Cornwall, Vermont, just two miles from the Middlebury College campus, works with educators and students in 130 schools nationwide, from the rural reaches of upstate New York to the Florida Panhandle to islands of Hawaii. Its own track record is pretty impressive: Over the last four years, 96 percent of CFES high school seniors have gone on to college-a rate that is six times greater than the national average for low-income students.

Registration for the Marine Corps Marathon and 10K is closed, but Team CFES still has bib numbers available. Each runner is asked to raise $1,500, and those who exceed this target qualify for free airline tickets and hotel stays, as well as other great incentives.

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