Go the Distance – Put in the miles for the Help A Willing Kid Foundation

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Lace up your shoes and bring your friends; it’s time to get moving for a cause. The greater Lansing area will host at least 12 road races that raise money for nonprofit organizations this April and May. This includes events such as Spartans Race for the Pat Tillman Foundation, the Hippity Hop 5K supporting the Child Benefit Fund and Race for the Place supporting MSU Safe Place. Also, this racing season, the MSU Food and Nutrition Association is hosting its 6th annual Healthy Hustle 5K on Michigan State University’s campus on April 8.

“The MSU Food and Nutrition Association is a club aimed at dietetics and nutrition majors but welcomes anyone who likes food and health,” said MSU dietetics junior Becky Levin, the vice president of the club and the event organizer. “Our goal is to raise money to support a local charity that enhances the community’s health through food, physical activity and other lifestyle habits.”

Each year the club chooses a different charity to raise funds for through their annual 5K event. Past charities have included Meals on Wheels and the Casey Camp. This year their charity of choice is the Help A Willing Kid Foundation, also known as HAWK.

HAWK is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in Lansing that calls the Crown Boxing Gym home. Hannah Sauter, a junior at Michigan State University, has worked closely with HAWK over the past couple of years.

“HAWK works to provide Lansing’s underprivileged children with the resources they need to thrive and succeed,” said Sauter. “Through HAWK, hundreds of children are fed and are given showers, laundry services, tutoring and boxing lessons in order to encourage constructive activity and character development.”

The MSU Food and Nutrition Association chose this organization because of its alignment with their values. HAWK focuses on health by looking at the whole picture.

“Nutrition is more than eating healthy, it really starts at having enough food, and HAWK ensures the kids of Lansing are getting at least one or two cooked meals a day,” said Levin. “For physical activity, they focus on boxing and, through this, they teach dedication and discipline that translates into other aspects of their life. Once their food and physical needs are met, HAWK is able to step up and offer tutoring for school and ensure mental health and success. By providing basic necessities for these kids like food, water, activity and other necessities, they are really helping these kids lead a healthier and, therefore, more successful life.”

The 5K run/walk is set to begin at 11 a.m. on April 8. The race, which is run on MSU’s East Course, will start at Conrad Hall and run down the Red Cedar River to the Sparty statue and back again. The participation fee is $20. To sign up for the event and learn about other ways to support the Help A Willing Kid Foundation, head to runsignup.com/Race/MI/EastLansing/HealthyHustle5K.