SPOTSWOOD, NJ - It was the quintessential fall morning on Sunday, October 1. The sun shone brightly with a slight nip in the air. The only thing missing was a backdrop of fall colors. However, Spotswood DECA supplied the colorful autumn splash with their Color Run to benefit the American Liver Foundation.
DECA is a co-curricular program that prepares students for college as well as professional careers by combining classroom instruction with real-life interactions that involve the community and area businesses as well as competitive events.
The primary organizers of the event with the assistance of their advisor, Spotswood High School Business, Vocational and Technical teacher, Kelly Meagher, were SHS students Elizabeth LoBiondo and Kimmy Loureiro. The pair is working on a community service manual for the 2018 State DECA competition that will be held on February 27 through March 1 in Atlantic City. If LoBiondo and Loureriro's 30-page presentation is selected, the students will head to the national competition, which will be held in Atlanta this spring.
Approximately 150 runners and walkers came out for the event. Participants spanned the ages from kindergarteners to Spotswood High School students to adults. The event was held on the Spotswood High School Varsity Soccer Field and included a group color splash at the end in case any runners/walkers missed getting some color tossed on them in passing by Spotswood DECA volunteers during the one-mile fun run.
All of the proceeds from the event will benefit the ALF, which was was founded in 1976 with the goal of promoting education and research in the prevention and treatment of liver diseases as well as help find a cure. The ALF also offers support and assistance to families coping with liver diseases. It is an organization that Meagher knows well since her young niece was born with a rare liver disease. LoBindo and Loureiro were happy to center their community service manual around the ALF once the pair heard about their teacher/advisor's relative.
"It's obviously an organization that's near and dear to my heart," Meagher said. "I couldn't be more proud and honored that they chose it."
The Color Run generated more than $2,000 with all of it going to benefit the American Liver Foundation. Last weekend, Spotswood DECA, lead by seniors Matt Amador and Gina Ridgway, organized the Embrace Kids Foundation Walk. That event raised over $5,000 for the organization that helps children fighting cancer and other chronic illnesses and their families in surrounding communities.
The Color Run concluded with all of the participants throwing pre-made colored packets into the air after posing for a group photo.
"We couldn't have asked for a better day for this," Meagher said.