2012-08-03 / Neighbors

She’ll be running in Memphis

Scarborough resident will compete in St. Jude charity half marathon
By Michael Kelley
Staff Writer


After Kelsey Schild, left, participated in a fund-raising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Keene State College last year, she knew she wanted to continue supporting St. Jude. This weekend she is holding a car wash to raise money for the hospital. (Courtesy photo) After Kelsey Schild, left, participated in a fund-raising event for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at Keene State College last year, she knew she wanted to continue supporting St. Jude. This weekend she is holding a car wash to raise money for the hospital. (Courtesy photo) Kelsey Schild will be running for a cause later this year.

Schild, a 2010 graduate of Scarborough High School, will compete in a half marathon during St. Jude Memphis Marathon Weekend, an annual fundraising event, held this year on Dec. 1 in Tennessee.

The half marathon will cover a 13.1- mile course in the heart of Memphis and pass by sites that include the Mississippi River, Beale Street, Sun Studio — where Elvis Presley made his first recording – the National Civil Rights Museum and the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital campus.

The race ends at AutoZone Park, home of the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals.

As part of her fund-raising effort, Schild has signed up to be a St. Jude Hero and raise at least $2,500 before the race.

Money from the event will benefit the St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a research and treatment center for children with cancer and other serious illnesses. According to St. Jude’s website, the hospital, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, treats 7,800 patients per year and as many as 260 patients per day. Families never have to pay for treatment at the hospital and the $1.7 million daily operating cost is primarily funded by public contributions.

Schild first got introduced to St. Jude last fall. The Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity at Keene State College, where Schild is a junior communications and business management major, held a fundraiser for the organization.

During the event, Up ‘til Dawn, Schild and members of her sorority, Phi Sigma Sigma, each wrote 50 letters to people they knew asking them to donate to St. Jude. Together, Schild said, the college raised over $10,000. Aside from the letter-writing campaign, Schild said, participants played games and watched videos about St. Jude and its mission.

Her interest in St. Jude, however, didn’t stop there. Schild said she wanted to continue to raise money for the organization and soon found out about the St. Jude’s Memphis Marathon Weekend.

“I did some research on St. Jude’s and found out they had a fund-raising marathon and half marathon,” Schild said. “I was very involved in running in high school, but haven’t done as much in college. I thought doing this was the perfect way to get back in to running while helping a great cause.”

Schild said she has never run a half marathon before, but is up for the challenge. The longest race she has ever competed in is the TD Beach to Beacon, an annual 10K (6.2 miles) road race in Cape Elizabeth.

“This will definitely be a challenge. I have worked hard training this summer and will continue to work hard this fall,” she said.

Running has been one of Schild’s passions since her time at Scarborough High School. Schild was a four-year member of the track and cross-country teams during high school, competing in the 800-meter and 4x800 meter races.

“Running for Ron Kelly (the girls’ cross country, indoor and outdoor track coach) was great. He is 110 percent dedicated to improving all of his runners. It was the best decision I made in high school. I had a great four years in the track program,” Schild said.

Schild has raised approximately one-third of the $2,500 goal so far and plans on organizing additional events at Keene State College this fall. Before she leaves for college, however, Schild is planning a car wash to raise money for St. Jude.

The car wash will take place at the Mobil gas station at Oak Hill from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 5.

Doing charity work is also a passion of Schild’s. Her sorority regularly does work to benefit the National Kidney Foundation and she has participated in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life and other charity walks.

“I think giving back and doing volunteer work is important because there are so many people in this world that are in need,” Schild said. “If you have the time and resources to dedicate, (charity work) is a great thing to do, especially if you do it in a fun way.”

The half marathon, Schild said, won’t be the last event she does to benefit St. Jude.

“I would love to plan more events after the half marathon to keep raising money for the organization,” she said.

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