Press Release: Girls on the Run St Louis Announces 2019 Energy Award Honorees

Posted by AOBrien in on Wed 03/13/2019 6:27

ST. LOUIS (March 14, 2019) – Dedicated volunteers Jenna DeYong and Michelle Brady, 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 St. Louis Children's Hospital. The awards will be presented at the 6th annual Power of One Gala on March 28 at Majorette, 7150 Manchester Avenue in Maplewood.

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.

Jenna DeYong, the first female police officer with the Granite City Police Department in Granite City, Illinois, said she was drawn to the program by the opportunity to coach her neice but it has been the transformation she sees in her girls that keeps her coaching every season.

"Jenna's enthusiasm for her community and unwavering support of the program as a coach, training facilitator, and donor, ensures we are providing positive, active role models for all our Girls on the Run," said Courtney Berg, executive director of GOTR.  "Since 2014, her energy and dedication to the mission and vision of Girls on the Run St. Louis is evident to her girls, fellow coaches, and community."

DeYong believes in what she is facilitating with the girls and hopes that every girl can see that her dreams and ideas matter and can be achieved.

"That’s why I want Girls on the Run for every girl. It reminds her that she is capable of more than anyone could ever limit her to!"

Michelle Brady, Executive Director, Transaction Advisory Services, Ernst & Young LLP, was introduced to Girls on the Run when she observed the program in action at her children's school in Chicago.  A move to St. Louis over 6 years ago provided the opportunity for her to learn more about the curriculum and unique design of the physical-activity based positive youth development program.  

"Michelle's commitment to the Girls on the Run St. Louis mission shines through in nearly every facet of her life," Berg said.  "Michelle currently serves as Immediate Past Chair of the Girls on the Run St. Louis Board of Directors and as a Heart & Sole coach at Parkway Central Middle School.  She has previously served as both Treasurer and Chair of the Board, as well as a Pacesetter, race volunteer, SoleMate and committed supporter for several teams through the GOTR-STL scholarship program."

For Michelle, the mission of Girls on the Run is something that she feels connected to on a very personal level. All all six members of the Brady family are actively involved in Girls on the Run St. Louis! Her twin daughters have participated in three seasons of Girls on the Run and are now in their first season of Heart & Sole. Both of her sons are seasoned 5k participants and volunteers, joining their father, Sean, at the water station to encourage every runner to cross the finish line! As Michelle explains it, being part of GOTR-STL is important for her sons, too, because "I want the experience for them of how empowering young girls and women makes their lives better. I am raising boys who will never question that this is the future – women who are strong, confident leaders."

"Without the incredibly dedicated and committed coaches and volunteers, there would not be a Girls on the Run St. Louis," Berg said.  "Our nearly 3,000 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 2019 Power Of One Gala, St. Louis Children's Hospital will be honored as a champion for Girls on the Run St. Louis for over 10 years.   The advocacy and dedication to effecting real, lasting health change for children across the diverse St. Louis community has been an inspiration to Girls on the Run St. Louis and is truly transformational for the families in the 23 counties served by our council. As one of the top pediatric hospitals in the nation, St. Louis Children’s Hospital is providing life-changing care while improving the lives of whole communities – one child at a time.

As the Guardians of Childhood, St. Louis Children’s Hospital's commitment to the whole girl – body, mind and spirit – is a tremendous catalyst for our Girls on the Run. Since 2008, more than 20,000 local girls have accessed the program in their community due to the support of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Girls on the Run St. Louis is grateful for this shared commitment to every Girl on the Run and her trajectory for a lifetime of healthy living.

To purchase tickets for the 2019 Power of One Gala on March 28, 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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