Press Release: Girls on the Run St Louis Announces Energy Award Honorees

Posted by AOBrien in on Mon 03/12/2018 6:37

Girls on the Run St. Louis Announces Energy Award Honorees

ST. LOUIS (March 8, 2018) – Veteran teacher Jennifer Carcagno, and enthusiastic volunteer Brad Eastman, will be recognized with Energy Awards, the highest honor given by Girls on the Run St. Louis. A third Energy Award will be presented to Emerson. The awards will be presented at the 5th annual Power of One Gala on April 12 at Lumen, 2201 Locust Street in St. Louis.

Girls on the Run St. Louis is a non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade, a critical time in girls’ self-development. Its mission is to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. The innovative program combines training for a celebratory 5k event with interactive lessons that combine self-esteem enhancing lessons with uplifting workouts aimed to develop the whole girl – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially.

Jennifer Carcagno, a physical education teacher at Buder Elementary School in the Ritenour School District, said she was drawn to the program, not only as an athlete, parent and teacher, but by the evidence-based curriculum that she knew would address the unique needs of girls at her school.  

"Jen is an outstanding ambassador of the program, ensuring we are providing positive, active role models for all our Girls on the Run," said Courtney Berg, executive director of GOTR.  "Since 2009, her sincere passion for the mission and vision of Girls on the Run St. Louis is evident to her girls, fellow coaches, colleagues and anyone who meets Coach Carcagno."

Carcagno says she's the one inspired by the growth she sees in her team every season.

“I love knowing that our girls can be part of a team, see themselves as I see them – as strong, smart and capable of anything," Carcagno said.  “I love what Girls on the Run means to my teams and will forever believe in this mission."

Brad Eastman, a logistics specialist with the U.S. Department of Defense, learned about GOTR in 2006 when his wife became a volunteer coach in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  Eastman joined in the excitement of 5k race day with smiles, encouragement and cheers for all the girls as they entered the final meters of the run.  He has volunteered on race day ever since.  

"His enthusiasm gets girls smiling and running across the finish line," Berg said.  "Often the girls are struggling to keep going.  With care and attention to what the girls will respond to, Brad helps each girl in those final moments turn on her positivity and celebrate her achievement.  The Girls on the Run finish line is a wonderful, positive place thanks to the sparkling energy of Brad."

"Being a part of the Girls on the Run 5k and this organization is truly a privilege and a joy for me,” Eastman said. “I look forward to the 5k and it was something that I was most looking forward to once I had recovered from my cancer surgery and treatment. It is so inspiring to me to see every girl cross that finish line, with a smile, knowing she can accomplish it, do it all herself - even if we are holding hands together - she did it! To be part of those moments and part of Girls on the Run is amazing."

When cancer treatments sapped the energy Eastman needed to run with the girls, he stood near the finish line to cheer and encourage them. 

"Without the incredibly dedicated and committed coaches and volunteers, there would not be a Girls on the Run St. Louis," Berg said.  "Our more than 2,000 volunteer coaches bring the curriculum and practices to life by connecting with their Girls on the Run, embodying the core values and helping each of their girls know and activate her limitless potential. We are privileged to have outstanding women and men who believe in and ensure our mission to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living."

Also at the 2018 Power Of One Gala, Emerson will be honored as a champion for Girls on the Run St. Louis for 10 years.   Recently, in alignment with the Forward Through Ferguson report, Emerson directed support to sites within north St. Louis County, specifically Bermuda Elementary in the Ferguson-Florissant School District.  Emerson underwrites entire teams that would not otherwise be able to afford the program.  Emerson’s dedication to the Forward Through Ferguson call to action and their philanthropic support has been an inspiration to Girls on the Run St. Louis.

To purchase tickets for the 2018 Power of One Gala presented by Edward Jones on April 12, visit www.girlsontherunstlouis.org/gala


About Girls on the Run St. Louis

Girls on the Run St. Louis is a life-changing, non-profit program for girls in the 3rd through 8th grade, a critical time in girls’ self-development. Our mission is to empower girls for a lifetime of healthy living. The innovative program combines training for a celebratory 5k event with interactive lessons that combine self-esteem enhancing lessons with uplifting workouts aimed to develop the whole girl – physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. Girls are empowered with positive self-awareness and increased confidence; a sense of achievement by training for and completing a 5k; and giving back to their community through a service project each season. Girls experience confidence through accomplishment becoming girls who can.

Girls on the Run St. Louis was founded in 2002 and is now the second largest council in North America. Today, Girls on the Run St. Louis is in more than 400 schools across 23 counties in eastern Missouri and western Illinois. Visit www.girlsontherunstlouis.org to learn more about how you can empower a girl and empower a generation.

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