Girls on the Run partners with Illuminate | ParkRecord.com

Girls on the Run partners with Illuminate

Submitted by Lydia Kluge,

Girls on the Run Utah, a youth-development program that inspires third- through eighth-grade girls to be joyful, healthy and confident, will benefit from a new partnership. The partnership is with Illuminate, a networking group focused on personal and professional development of women across Utah.

Illuminate shares a common goal with Girls on the Run — to encourage the development and empowerment of females. Girls on the Run aims to positively transform how girls and women perceive themselves and their place in society, and promote an environment to allow them to reach their full potential. Illuminate’s vision is much the same — to help every woman realize her goals and become who she really wants to be.

Illuminate, whose focus is on leadership development, skill building, self-discovery, growth, mentoring, advocacy and meaningful connections, will hold its semiannual leadership summit Oct. 27. The summit brings professional women of all stages together to connect and grow; it also encourages women to be of service. Women attending Illuminate will have the opportunity to help sponsor girls within the Girls on the Run program. They will do so through a service project in which Illuminate has collaborated with Mountain America Credit Union.

Mountain America Credit Union has generously donated $5,000 to help purchase more than 400 pairs of athletic shoes for low-income girls. The girls will use the shoes to participate in the program, which innovatively weaves training for a 5K run with inspiring lessons. The influential Illuminate women will have the opportunity to purchase a pair of shoes for these young girls and write a message of encouragement to them. This hands-on service project gives the potential of raising an additional $5,000 in funding to Girls on the Run Utah.

"These women have walked in their shoes and can provide empowering messages and motivation," said Girls on the Run Executive Director Heidi Moreton. "I think this personal touch of women helping girls is incredibly powerful."

Present in Utah since 2007, Girls on the Run reaches nearly 1,500 girls locally; nationally it served its millionth girl this year. One-third of the participants locally and nationally are on scholarships, which the organization funds through generous grants, partnerships and donations from the community.