Luck o' the Lassie fundraiser March 17
by Anna Oakes
Be a saint and help support the strength and confidence of girls in the High Country by attending the third annual Luck o' the Lassie fundraiser on St. Patrick's Day at the Inn at Ragged Gardens in Blowing Rock.
The Sunday, March 17, benefit features a wine tasting, hors d'oeuvres and a live auction of packages ranging from vacation weekends to fitness club memberships. The event lasts from 6:30 to 9 p.m., and tickets are $50 for a single ticket or $75 for two.
A VIP Silver ticket package includes four tickets, a bottle of wine, reserved seats and a preview of auction items. A VIP Gold ticket package includes six tickets, two bottles of wine, reserved seats, reserved parking and a guided tour of the historic Inn at Ragged Gardens.
"Overall it's just a very festive event," said Mary Sheryl Horine, council director of Girls on the Run of the High Country.
Girls on the Run of the High Country, which began in 2009, is a youth development program for girls in grades three through eight that uses running to teach values and a sense of self.
Girls in the program are split into groups by age, with third- through fifth-graders in a group called Girls on the Run and sixth- through eighth-graders in a group called Girls on Track. Classes meet two times a week for 12 weeks, and the program is held twice per year.
Each class includes a topic, including peer pressure, bullying and nutrition, and features a physical activity. Participants complete a community service project and end the program by finishing a 5K (3.1-mile) run.
"We know that each one of them is very special and very beautiful in her own way," said Horine. "We just want her to know that and to be very confident in that."
Girls on the Run of the High Country currently has 85 participants in Watauga, Avery and Wilkes counties, with the potential to expand into Ashe and Alleghany counties as well.
"We find that once girls get started they're really, really excited about continuing on with it," Horine said.
The organization is a nonprofit affiliate of the Girls on the Run organization, which serves girls in more than 200 cities across the United States and Canada. Appalachian State University's Institute for Health and Human Services is the affiliate sponsor.