Kids’ volunteer efforts pay off

LAKE PLACID – Local students helped make the Lake Placid/North Elba half marathon a success, and they benefited from their work as well.

The half marathon donated $7,500 from its proceeds to the Lake Placid/Wilmington Connecting Youth and Communities Coalition to help with youth programs around the community. Rick Preston presented a check in that amount to CYC’s Mary Dietrich at Monday night’s village board meeting.

“This will go to good use,” Dietrich told him.

Preston told the village board that organizers’ goal was to have 300 runners and end up with $5,000 to donate to the CYC, but they ended up with 324 runners and $7,500 from the half marathon and 10-kilometer races.

Dietrich said Lake Placid High School senior Julianna Matos organized the volunteers for the event as her senior project. She brought in 10 organizations like the honor society and the builders club, with a range of six to 12 members from each, to man stations at the half marathon.

She organized about 68 volunteers for the event, Preston said.

Mayor Craig Randall said the event had a strong volunteer base, which is important for it to be successful.

“The reason these events work is because of volunteers in our community,” Randall said.

He said the inconvenience of things like temporary street closures and traffic pay off with events like this that have multiple benefits.

Trustee Jason Leon, who also is a teachers aide at Lake Placid Elementary School, participated in the event as well, and he said it was youth-led.

Dietrich noted that the student groups that will receive money through the CYC are service organizations, so the community will again benefit in the future from their work.