CONCORD (CBS) – We are just four days from the start of a new road race in Concord with a goal of building classrooms in Guatemala. But the race is in jeopardy and the 13-year-old behind the fundraiser is scrambling to make sure her creation makes it to the finish line.
Anna Park is a typical seventh grader who is busy with school, sports and friends. But on a family trip to Guatemala a few years ago, she saw something she couldn’t shake.
”When I was there, the biggest thing, was the difference between where I live here and Guatemala was the poverty and struck me as heartbreaking,” she told WBZ-TV.
So Anna decided to do something and she settled on school supplies.
”I started in fourth grade collecting supplies from my class, expanded in fifth grade to whole school, by sixth grade it was both schools in the district,” she said.
She spent years collecting and sending, until her middle school teacher Brain Revell encouraged her to use her love of running to do more. That’s when the “Run 2 School 5K” was born.
The goal was more than supplies this time. It was to build two whole classrooms. And in just a few months Anna was off and running.
“It’s very stressful, it takes a lot of time. I come home every day, go to sports, do homework and then I’m staying up doing work to gain runners and get everything done,” she said.
Anna has done the hard part, getting sponsorships and town approvals. But the one thing she’s missing is the runners.
“Every day you go through these towns and there are people running at all times. We know they do 5k and fun runs and PMC’s and we are like, where are they?,” Revell told WBZ.
So now Anna and her friends are racing to save the race which is supposed to happen Sunday June 2 in Concord.
“With this low participation, I almost feel like all this hard work is not paying off and that we’ve done so much and taken so much time and no one is going to show up,” she said.
Anna currently has a few dozen runners right now, but she needs 100-to-150 in the race to meet her goal.
To sign up or make a donation, visit the race website.