TRAVERSE CITY — Teens have always been tuned in to the latest fads. This month, students at Traverse City Central High School are using the newest craze, color runs, to help shine light on a dark subject.
Members of the high school’s Student Senate are sponsoring their first Spring Splatter 5K run to raise awareness of child abuse. The race begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 20, on the Central High School campus, 1150 Milliken Drive, with proceeds benefiting the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center.
According to co-organizer Emily Decker, the race proceeds normally until runners approach the end. There, they will pass through a gauntlet of dry powder “paint” — all part of the fun waiting at the finish line.
“The ‘paint’ is actually colored corn starch,” explained Student Senate Governor Cooper Macdonell. “It’s essentially edible and washes off with water.”
Macdonell said runners will be given a white T-shirt at the start of the race, the intent being that they will end up with a colorful shirt — or at least a piece of abstract art — at the end.
One runner in particular is looking forward to turning herself into a movable work of art.
“As a runner myself, I was extremely excited as these ‘color runs’ are popular; but more importantly, I was honored they approached our organization,” said Kate Walters, chair of the Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center’s Prevention Council. Walters also works as a juvenile probation officer.
“The message the Student Senate is spreading is kids helping kids,” Walters said, adding that in her work as a juvenile probation officer she sees on a daily basis the tough world today’s youths are growing up in. “At times I see kids being mean to other kids, and it is refreshing to see kids trying to help kids going through a difficult time.”