The inaugural Welcome Back Slicers 5K Run/Walk for Multiple Sclerosis event took place Saturday, August 15th.
Over 30 people participated in the event that was put on by the LPHS Interact Club and Student Council. LPHS student Anna Kozor, Interact member, came up with the idea for the run after finding out that beloved history teacher Erica White was diagnosed with the disease.
The idea was put into motion by Holly Wireman, LPHS social studies teacher and Interact sponsor. Her group paired up with Student Council to put the event together. Local business and community members also stepped up to make the run possible.
“Our students wanted to do it. Our club is all about service above self—going above and beyond. A lot of great organizations helped. Jimmy John’s donated sandwiches for us, Magic Sports made the bags for us, and the City of La Porte Rotarians helped us out today as well. It was very cool,” Wireman said.
The run started in the Educational Services Center parking lot, weaved through Fairfield neighborhood and Kesling Park, and ended with a lap on the new track and field complex. Runners were greeted with cheers from the students. Runners were from all walks of life, and a few students even joined in.
“I’m here for Mrs. White, my 5th hour teacher. I’m also here to support the fight against M.S. This is a good cause,” LPHS student Isaac Temores, winner of the race, said.
Lots of smiles and laughter filled the sunny morning, but no one could forget the reason behind this race. White is one of the most popular teachers at the high school, inspiring and engaging students daily with her love of history and the kids in her class. She was thrown a curve ball this year after being diagnosed with M.S.
“It’s pretty humbling to have all this support. It makes you feel loved. It makes me love me school way more than I already did love it. It makes me love the kids more than I already love them. I’m grateful. I feel blessed,” Erica White, LPHS teacher, said.
The impact of the event was felt by the runners and volunteers. Many Student Council and Rotary Club members walked the last lap of the track once White entered the last part of the race. Yet, none were more visibly touched than White’s mother.
“It’s very touching. That’s all I can say. She is the most amazing person I know. This is beyond words,” Lisa Melton, choking back tears, said.
Over $1,000 was raised through this one-day event.