Cove teen creates walking club to raise funds
By BRITTANY FHOLER
As school closures have been extended to early May and people are encouraged to stay home and avoid going out and gathering in crowds, there is a group of walkers in Copperas Cove trying to stay active and raise money for charity.
Ariel Draper, who has previously held her annual Cancer Kick-a-thon at the Candy Outfitters before the store closed down, created a Facebook group and implemented an idea that her mother, Anne Derby had.
“It started with me not being able to go to school, so I don’t move around that much, and my mom had this idea for another group that she never put into action and so I was like, ‘Hey, can I take that?’” Draper said.
The challenge is serving as Draper’s Lone Star Leadership Academy’s Alumni Council service project for this year.
The Lone Star Leadership Academy is a program offered by Education In Action, where students in grades 4th through 8th attend Sunday through Friday overnight camps throughout the summer. Nominated students from across Texas meet in the DFW area, Austin/San Antonio, or Houston/Galveston for “a week of fun, learning, leadership development, and visits to unique and historically significant Texas destinations,” according to the LSLA website. The students will explore notable Texas sites as well as learn about unique careers from professionals at the sites visited, and develop their leadership abilities.
The Lonestar Leadership Academy Alumni Council is for students who have complete the LSLA camps. These members continue developing their leadership skills during the school year through online leadership lessons and by creating and leading a service project in their community. They are required to complete a service project each year they participate on the Alumni Council.
Draper’s group is called “The Walkers of COVE-id 19”, and the challenge is to walk 100 miles during the month of April, essentially walking more than three miles per day.
Participants will share how far they’ve walked daily by commenting on a post Draper makes in the group the following day.
To join the challenge, Draper is asking for people to donate $2 which will go towards a car decal that the participant will receive once they finish the challenge. At the end, any proceeds left over after the shipping of the decals will be donated to the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas.
To participate, people can join the group on Facebook and then send their $2 or any additional donations to Draper’s Square site: http://my-site-104176-108031.square.site/.
As of press time, the group has 64 members and 20 people had signed up to participate in the challenge.
Draper said she chose the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas as the charity of her choice because they are in need of funds and do good for the community.
The Ronald McDonald House programs offer rooms for families of pediatric patients being treated at nearby hospitals or medical facilities, where families may stay as long as the patient remains in active treatment, for no cost or for a donation of up to $25 per day, according to the RMHC website. Payment is never expected for those who are unable to pay.
When asked if Draper had a goal in mind for how many people she hoped would join, she said she didn’t have a specific number.
“I think I’m just really trying to help people get up and get moving so we’re not all stagnant for the remainder of the quarantine,” Draper said.