Some local high school sophomores want to help local veterans get their lives back.
The seven students, all part of Youth Leadership Toledo, have organized a two-mile run, Color for Camo, to benefit Veterans Matter, a nonprofit that helps house homeless veterans. The run will be on the Fossil Park Trail in Sylvania Township.
Katie Karban, 16, a student at St. Ursula Academy, said she and six others who put together the Saturday run were inspired by hearing Ken Leslie, director of Veterans Matter, share the organization’s mission.
“We thought, ‘This is an awesome cause,’” she said.
Color runs have become popular in recent years. The idea is that runners wear white clothing and, as they take off along the course, are covered in colored powder; at the end of the race, they're walking rainbows. The students wanted to create such an event to benefit Veterans Matter.
Each year, the Youth Leadership Toledo participants, 50 in all, break into small groups, each of which organizes a project to benefit the community.
The cost to join the race is $20. Ms. Karban said 100 percent of the race registration fee will go to Veterans Matter.
The money will fund the group’s program to pay rental-housing security deposits for veterans.
“Leadership Toledo and their Youth Leadership program has been the keystone in creating not only future leaders, but these incredible individuals who have this immense power of compassion for almost every cause in Toledo,” Mr. Leslie said. “These kids are amazing; they inspire me.”
Mr. Leslie, who will be walking in the colorful festivities, said funding for long-term housing for veterans is available through the federal government, but veterans are often responsible for paying security deposits.
“It's hard enough for a working person sometimes to have a security deposit, much less someone homeless on the street,” Mr. Leslie said.
In Toledo, the average security deposit is $600. Nationwide the average is $750, Mr. Leslie said.
IF YOU GO
Color for Camo 2-mile run
Where: Fossil Park Trail, 5705 Centennial Rd., Sylvania
When: Race starts at 10 a.m. Saturday.
Registration: Runners and walkers are encouraged to sign up online before 10 p.m. Friday, but race-day registration is available. Online registration is available at veteransmatter.org/colorrun. Entry fee: $20.
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