At the heart of Girls on the Run St. Louis are our volunteers who make the program and race possible for more than 6,000 girls each year! A runner himself, Joe Shea is a proponent of giving back to the running community through volunteering and has been instrumental in getting our 5k set up for the girls for the past several seasons! He also donates toothpaste for our lesson on gossip. We are so grateful for Joe's support!
What was your first volunteer experience with GOTR?
Started doing start line setup, liked it and the event, so just kept on doing. Didn't even mind being there at 5AM!!
Why would you recommend others get involved and volunteer?
There are 2 kinds of people in this world - givers and takers. You get rewarded more than you can imagine when you give to others expecting nothing in return. I love helping young women achieve positive self image, prove to themselves that they are athletes, and achieve a goal through dedicated training.
Any favorite memories or stories from a GOTR event?
Running with Mike Huelsmann (another amazing 5k volunteer!) and 2 young women from (long time coach) Wendie Cummings' school - dancing "Happy" as we were coming up Market towards Jefferson. Everyone having FUN.
Anything about yourself you would like to share? Running stories? Favorite ice cream?
My absolute favorite GOTR moment is one I didn't expect and is personal, to some extent. Maggie Siemer asked me to donate some toothpaste to GOTR. I said yes, and continued to donate over time. I always assumed it was going to a needy child, I just gave whenever she asked. I was floored at one of the races when someone introduced me as the dentist who gave the tubes of toothpaste....for the lesson on gossip. (Once something comes out it is sometimes hard if not impossible to put back in - Gossip is like that). I was stunned at the realization that my toothpaste was going to THAT cause, and proud to help out. Needless to say, GOTR can have as much toothpaste from me as they ever want.
What are your hopes for the future of GOTR?
I wish for every girl out there to set their sights high, be proud of whatever they accomplish, learn to work towards goals, be happy and most importantly: healthy.