PIEDMONT -- Hundreds of Piedmonters will spend an early September morning running to support counseling for teens.
The Sept. 29 five-kilometer race is the second annual run to benefit the Wellness Center, which serves Piedmont's middle and high schools.
"It's our annual fundraiser that allows the entire community to come together as a group to participate in the race and celebrate living a healthy lifestyle," said center director Ting Hsu Engelman.
The Wellness Center offers confidential counseling services, leadership training and health education to middle school and high school students in Piedmont. Hotlines are provided for crisis support, suicide prevention and domestic violence issues. Not only do children have adult counselors available on-site, the center trains teens to be peer negotiators for conflict-solving.
"They also have leadership programs to improve the climate at school," said Katie Korotzer, race organizer and parent of two Piedmont students.
The center works in offices directly at the schools, so students can find them easily. But the center raises most of its own budget, which is where the run comes in.
"The bulk of the funding is self-funded by grants and fundraising," Korotzer said.
The race will follow a five-kilometer track winding in a loop to the east of Piedmont Park. Runners and walkers can register through the website, piedmontfallfest5k.org,
The race begins at 8:30 a.m., and registration is $35 for adults, $25 for children 14 and under. There will also be an 10:30 a.m. awards ceremony at Piedmont Park. And it's not only the fastest times that will be rewarded -- there are also prizes for best team costume and largest team.
Korotzer is also seeking both volunteers for race day and sponsors from local businesses.
The city will put up barricades and set up traffic lights to make it easier, but a lot remains to be done.
"It is a lot of work to put something together," she said.
Last year, the run attracted about 360 runners and made more than $7,000 for the Wellness Center. Korotzer hopes for at least 500 runners this year.
"We want to increase that (number) every year," Korotzer said.