Running for a revolution

Runners participate in the Woodland for Women Worldwide’s 5k road race Saturday at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls. -GAIL NOVACO

BEACON FALLS — More than 350 people participated in last Saturday’s Run for a Revolution, Woodland for Women Worldwide’s 5k road race and largest fundraising effort.

The Run for a Revolution, an event hosted by WWW for the third time, helped raise money for the organization’s charitable efforts to help improve the lives of underprivileged women throughout the world.

This year’s money will be split among a number of causes, including the Somaly Mam Foundation, the WWW scholarship fund, and an effort to build a library in Ethiopia.

WWW co-advisors Lisa Olivere and Deb Flaherty said they hope the organization can be totally responsible for funding construction of the Degale Library and Community Center in Mudula, Ethiopia.

That project is sponsored by Ethiopia Reads, one of the beneficiaries of this year’s fundraising efforts. Christine Ieronimo, the author of children’s book “Drinking from Puddles” about childhood poverty in Ethiopia, earned the 2012 Woodland for Women Worldwide Heroine Award for her advocacy of Ethiopia Reads and its charitable efforts.

The main event, the 5k road race, took participants around the Woodland campus and surrounding streets. Tami Dragon, the owner of Prospect’s Live Love Dance Fitness Studio, won the race with a 7:03 pace.

Dragon also put on a Zumba warmup program at the event, which attracted dozens of participants.

Woodland students Justin Priebe and Matt Greggis, who form the GPS Productions group, treated the crowd to music throughout the day.

But the facet of the Run for a Revolution that Olivere and Flaherty enjoy most is the return and participation of alumni.

“The attitude and environment was great, and the enthusiasm of our student, faculty, and alumni volunteers is incredible,” Olivere said. “They want to help in any way they can. That’s one of the best parts of the event. The alumni come back not only to run, but to help organize it.”

Flaherty added, “I felt like there was a stronger alumni presence this year than in the past. Former members come back and really take pride in it.”

Olivere and Flaherty pointed to a number of alumni, including Corinne Marshall, Lorenzo DeCampos, Amber Gagne, Chloe Flanagan, Holly Herdman, Sara Hughes, Lindsay Feducia, Shawna Wall, and Ariel Dowski, for going out of their way to help organize the event.

“Our greatest pleasure in having this growing program is seeing our graduates reinvesting in us,” Olivere said. “They’re totally tied to our causes and they keep coming back.”