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A force for positive change

As cars passed by Aubrey Middle School last Saturday morning, runners could be spotted circling the middle school as they participated in Aubrey High School’s first Fall Harvest 5K, hosted by the Family, Career and Communities Leaders of America.

FCCLA, established in 2015, is a student-led organization that focuses on promoting family fun through community activities.

Ashley McIlravy, host of the event, has seen personal improvements and wants to help others reach their fitness goals.

“I started running last year and since then I’ve lost 130 pounds,” McIlravy said. “I went from being sedentary to becoming an active runner. It’s really changed my life.”

The goal of the FCCLA is to stimulate the mind as well as the body.

“We want to help kids learn skills that get them involved,” McIlravy said. “We hosted a bullying presentation at the elementary school this week and we’re also going to have character education programs as well. We want to solve some of the social issues in the community and help them become better family members and citizens.”

Senior members Tarah Reeves and Kerah Pendergraft said the purpose of the event was to invite the community to come out and have fun while exercising.

They acknowledged the nationwide obesity epidemic in the United States and said events like this would help in the long run.

“Any kind of exercise counts,” Pendergraft said. “There are some people really running, but they’re also some people walking. Everyone feels really comfortable out here; you can run at your own pace.”

“I think the water stations and music made it more fun to run,” Reeves said. “They can run to the music and we had FCCLA members at different parts of the course to encourage them along.”

Proceeds from the event will go towards future community projects later in the semester.

“We want to be a force for positive change,” McIlravy said. “We have a lot of division going on right now in the world and we need to be part of that solution to unite it. Hopefully, we can be a part of that solution here in Aubrey.”

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