Marking the end of their spring season with the afterschool running program, 144 girls in grades 3 to 8 in 10 Nassau County schools, including North Side School in East Williston, completed the Lynbrook Runner’s Stop Girls on the Run 5K on Sunday, May 31 at Hofstra University. The girls were joined by nearly 200 additional runners, including their running buddies and runners from the community.
Each fall and spring season, the program culminates with all participants completing a celebratory 5K event together: a joyful and festive occasion where the girls’ perseverance throughout the season is honored, families witness the impact of the program firsthand and the party atmosphere inspires all who attend.
In addition to North Side School, nine other schools participated in the event: Searingtown School, Albertson; Denton Avenue School, New Hyde Park; Center St School, Williston Park; Friends Academy, Locust Valley; McKenna Elementary, Massapequa; Forest Lake, Wantagh; Lakeside School, Merrick; New Visions School, Freeport and Steele Elementary, Baldwin.
The local council is eager to reach more girls with this inspiring program, and through a grant from the national office, they hired their first full-time council director, Leslie Turis. Turis will be responsible for program expansion to new sites, including coach recruitment. Turis brings an ideal mix of skills and experience to the position, having worked as a fundraiser, data analyst and business manager in several youth-serving nonprofit organizations, including Girl Scouts of Western PA. She is also a certified personal trainer.
“GOTR of Nassau County has been tremendously fortunate to have built an ever-growing program with leadership from Elizabeth Murphy,” said Meredith Celentano, board chair. “Now, with our first full-time Council Director, we believe our council will grow by leaps during the next three years. We are thrilled to have selected Leslie, as she has the vision and fortitude to take us forward into the next leg of our marathon.”