|L-R: Super Colby 5K Race creators and organizers Annika Urban and Hannah Brandon with Colby's older sister, senior Kai Young|
The chilly weather did nothing to deter more than 300 enthusiastic walkers and runners from all over Charlotte who came out to participate in the inaugural Super Colby 5K Race on Saturday, March 11 at McAlpine Park. The race was created in honor of former Charlotte Christian student, Colby Young, who fought a brave and valiant battle against pediatric brain cancer. The event was the idea of Charlotte Christian School ninth grade students, Hannah Brandon and Annika Urban, who came up with the idea of using their love of running to honor Colby and all children who are fighting a life threatening diagnosis. The girls entered and won Charlotte Christian’s 2016-17 Knight Tank competition to help gain initial funding for their idea. With the support of Mrs. Sara Blakeney, their cross-country coach and the school's director of annual giving, the girls spent the last few weeks designing the race website, organizing registrations, securing sponsorships for the event, and supervising the many details involved in presenting a large community race event.
In an effort to collaborate with other CCS students for the event, Hannah and Annika asked for help from both the upper school technology students and visual arts students in designing and handcrafting the race medals. Using the school’s 3-D printer, an original mold was designed for the medals, and then upper school visual arts students used clay to make the medals which were fired in the school’s own kilns.
The girls look forward to presenting all proceeds and donations from the event to the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation in Asheville, N.C.
Based on the popular Shark Tank television show, the Knight Tank initiative began last year as a competition to encourage students and teachers in developing and implementing new and innovative programs to enhance educational experiences. Teams of students and faculty members had the opportunity to present their proposals to a review board in the fall and compete for future funding of their ideas. The panel of judges included Chief Financial Officer Terry Efird, Board of Trustees member Charles Saleh, Director of Human Resources and Administrative Services Shannon Edwards, and Student Body President Jackson Cannon.