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- EFFECTIVE IN CHEMUNG COUNTY, NY UNTIL 4/18/2015 7:00 PM EST
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Written By: Samantha Potter
ELMIRA (WENY)-- This evening runners lined up at Eldridge Park to participate in the first ever Rainbow Run hosted by the YWCA. This run is aimed at celebrating diversity and taking a stand against bullying.
Joy Casciotti shared her thoughts on bullying and why she felt it was important to bring her son to the run. “Every student has a right to be liked, to have friends and to be happy and to be accepted for who they are,” say Casciotti. The run was spear headed by the YWCA youth summit committee and attracted people of all ages.
More than 1600 people showed up to the first annual Rainbow Run at Eldridge Park. Runners started out wearing a white shirt and by the time they were done they were wearing a rainbow full of colors. “This is absolutely fantastic. I knew there was going to be a large group from Broadway and Parley Coburn as well. I work at Parley Coburn and I'm thrilled that there are even more students beyond that. It says there is a need to focus on this in our community and we want to make sure everyone is supported,” says Casciotti.
The purpose of this event was to celebrate diversity, encourage acceptance and to stand up against bullying. As participants were running, volunteers threw colored powered paints on them. This was to show a visual statement of how everyone is different and bright in their own way.
Alyssa Kelly from Broadway Middle School attended the event with many of her friends for National Junior Honor Society. Kelly says she participated in the run because she believes everyone coming together can help bring an end to bullying in the community. “I think they should stop because its really mean and and people can hurt themselves because of the bullying and don't want to go to school because of the bullying,” says Kelly.
The YWCA CEO Pat Lambert says we can expect another Rainbow Run next summer because of todays great turn out.