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May 2, 2014

RSU Trail Run slated for Saturday

Funds to benefit inner city youth program

CLAREMORE —

Owasso residents Kimberly and Cass Filhiol will host the third annual Trail Run at 10:30 a.m. Saturday on the campus of Rogers State University. Funds from the 5K will benefit athletic teams within The Salvation Army West Mabee Boys & Girls Club of Tulsa.
Kimberly, a 2013 Rogers State University graduate and avid runner, volunteers with her husband at the West Mabee Club working with teen athletic programs, including basketball. The club is positioned between several low income apartment complexes, and tends to be an oasis for students age 5 to 18, said Leah Harper, West Mabee volunteer. 
Kimberly began volunteering at the West Mabee Club three years ago.     
“Due to financial hardships, many of the teens are limited on equipment and the number of tournaments they can participate in,”  Harper said. “These young men would show up to practice all summer and work extremely hard, but were unable to play many games.”
After her first year of coaching, Kimberly was inspired to organize a fundraising trail run to help cover costs for summer teen players.
She said the runs have grown in attendance each year and have helped tremendously, allowing the two high school basketball teams to compete in four area tournaments, as well as purchase uniforms for the players. 
“Eventually we would like to use the proceeds from the run to participate in out-of-town tournaments. We’re working on organizing a college tour where players can experience the college campuses and learn about continuing their education,”  Kimberly said.
Thanks to the creation of the RSU Trail Run, many inner city teenagers are able to participate within the club at no cost. 
“These young men are extremely appreciative and positive individuals. They work hard, and at the same time very responsive,”  Kimberly said. 
She said the players volunteer their time at the Trail Run helping direct runners. Many of the teens that volunteered with the race the first year are now students at RSU.
“It’s estimated that 12 previous West Mabee Club members now attend RSU — a huge percentage when you look at the socioeconomic class,”  Harper said. 
The cost for Saturday’s trail run is $20, and includes a T-shirt. The race will begin at the front entrance of RSU and will wind through the nature reserve,  wrapping back around to the finish line near the front entrance. A one-mile run will also be available.

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