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Students run, walk to aid Young Life organization

Mandi Stirone | Friday, March 30, 2007

Students from Notre Dame, Saint Mary’s and Bethel College as well as members of the South Bend community will participate in a 5K walk/run this Saturday to benefit Young Life, a local non-denominational youth organization.

Members of Young Life will also be participating in the walk, said organizer Rocky Krivda.

Krivda, a Saint Mary’s junior, has been involved in Young Life since her freshman year.

“Young Life is so unique because we go into public high schools and we talk to kids who really need help – kids who don’t necessarily get the opportunity to hear about ministry,” Krivda said.

The organization has clubs at nine high schools in the South Bend area including Adams, Clay, Penn and Riley High Schools, she said.

The walk is being organized to send inner city South Bend teens, mostly members of the “Westside Club,” to the summer camp coordinated by Young Life.

“We basically become their big brother or big sister,” Krivda said. “We meet their needs. And right now we’re trying to send them to camp.”

The run/walk is to help individual campers afford camp, Krivda said.

“Some of these kids have never been to a summer camp in their lives so this is going to be a once in a lifetime opportunity for them,” she said.

As for the run, Krivda hopes to sell all 200 T-shirts. Krivda said participants need to come to the Sorin room of LaFortune between 9:45 a.m. and 10:20 a.m. on Saturday to register.

The fee to run or walk is $7, she said.

“Even showing up and buying a T-shirt will make a world of difference in these kids lives,” she said.

Krivda is the main organizer but said Notre Dame sophomore Robbie Bernardin has also played a large part.

“Rocky did most of the work,” Bernadin said. “I’m just keeping time.”

Bernardin, who has been involved with Young Life for a year, will be at the finish line taking down the times of the runners and walkers. He won’t be able to attend summer camp this year, but hopes to go next summer. For him, Young Life is about hanging out with the high school students and being a friend.

“It’s a great thing,” he said.