Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Girls on the Run McHenry County

It's not often that you hear of an organization whose mission really touches your heart.

I think back to my childhood, and I remember my loving parents. I also remember being 13 and one of my "best friends" would get mad at me for no apparent reason. She'd harass me on the phone as I begged for forgiveness, not quite even sure what mistake I'd made. I remember crying to myself. I still can feel the pain of the loneliness and rejection I felt, and the humiliation that I must not be a good friend. Finally, after a year of walking on eggshells and begging for her friendship, I had the courage to realize that SHE was the one who wasn't a good friend. I finally had the courage to walk away from the cruelty. But, it took too long to realize that I was the one who was fine. Unfortunately, it also took a major toll on my self-confidence.

Only when I grew up and talked to other women, did I realize that girls can be mean. Brutal, really. So many women have endured similar cruelty. And, sadly, we believe so much more what our friends say than what our parents say. Right? And, I'm so fearful that my daughter will someday go through the same thing, and as a parent, I'll be helpless to heal her wounds.

That's where Girls on the Run McHenry County enters. Girls on the Run McHenry County is a non-profit prevention program that encourages preteen girls to develop self-respect and healthy lifestyles through running. Their curricula address all aspects of girls' development - their physical, emotional, mental, social, and spiritual well-being.

Their 2nd annual Gala by the Lake is Nov. 8th at the Historic Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake. Because I love what this organization is working towards, I've donated a session and a 16x20 to be auctioned off during the silent auction. So, if you're thinking of scheduling a session anyway, you might as well have it go towards a great cause. For more information about the Gala, the race, and the organization, go to www.mchenrycountygotr.org.

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