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Winter Sports School to act globally

Adia Waldburger, of the Record staff

Taylor Guetschow has been on the Winter Sports School student council for four years, but she hoping to make this year the one that counts.

"Fourth year, first time," she said.

She’s referring to the first time that she has spearheaded leading the school in a direction to make position changes in the world.

Not just Park City the world.

After Myanmar (formerly Burma) was hit by a catastrophic cyclone this spring, Guetschow and her peers were rocked by reports saying that aid was not getting to the people that needed it most. She began discussing the issue with her history teacher and student government adviser, Rosie Hanek, and how they could make a difference.

Newly elected as student body president, Guetschow, Hanek, eight student council members and other students began tossing around ideas about doing some sort of school outreach. With such a small school they knew a can drive wouldn’t be effective, so they decided to organize the school’s first-ever 5K run.

After some research, they found the World Food Program, a non-profit commited to ending worldwide hunger. As they were conducting the research, the students found out that if just 17 countries contributed less than one percent of their national income to ending hunger it would come to a stop immediately. They also learned that the U.S. hasn’t done its part. That motivated Guetschow and she became even more determined to do her part.

"It’s something that can be helped," she said.

And now, the 5K to Fight World Hunger is finally coming into fruition. It will be held Aug. 16 at 9:30 a.m. at Willow Creek Park. It has been a bit of an undertaking for the students who are fundraising novices, but Guetschow hopes that the first one will produce reasonable success and set a precedent for more charitable runs in the future. She’s hoping for a humble turnout of 50-100 people at the school’s first run, but continues to vigilantly promote the event around a busy school and training schedule.

Guetschow attends the Winter Sports School so she can ski race in the winter. She also plays soccer recreationally, since she is, after all, a Guetschow a name somewhat synonymous with soccer in Park City. So, she is no stranger to hard work and sacrifices, but she is also aware that her busy schedule comes from the blessings in her life and that’s what keeps her focused.

"As athletes, we focus so much on ourselves," she said. "At the Winter School, we are so fortunate. To help people without a stable situation is a nice change for the kids."

Guetschow is especially excited that the run is so broad-reaching, going beyond city, state and national borders and helping the people in the world that need it most. She is hoping the 5K will bring more awareness to the worldwide hunger crisis. In fact, Guetschow has become a virtual Website of statistics explaining the dire situation in the world and the steps that can be taken to achieve change. She can stop people in their tracks when she rattles off that 25,000 people die every day of hunger or hunger-related causes, according to the United Nations. That’s equal one person every three and a half seconds.

The Winter Sport School 5K course will wind around Little Creek in Willow Creek Park to keep the run safe and family friendly. The school is asking for a donation of $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 15 and under to participate in the run, but Guetschow is hoping that people will open their hearts and donate even more.

"We won’t turn it down," she laughed.

Although just a small handful of the Winter Sports School students are staging the run, Guetschow said that the whole school is excited about it.

"I think for a lot of people it’s huge for them that they are going to help someone else," Guetschow said.

The Winter Sports School’s good deeds don’t end there. The race T-shirts are donated by Re:volve, a company dedicated to using sustainable materials, adhering to fair-trade practices and making their messages positive.

The Winter Sports School 5k to Fight World Hunger will begin on 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 16 at Willow Creek Park. There will also be monetary prizes and a raffle at the event. To register, call the school at 649-8760.


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