This Saturday, athletes from Billings’ three public high schools will work together to raise money and awareness for a group of their fellow students.
It was an article in the student newspaper at Billings Senior High School that gave Jesse Dimich-Louvet his "a-ha moment." At the time, the Billings Senior High student was searching for a topic for his platinum project, an undertaking that benefits the community required of all honors and Advanced Placement students. The two things came together.
"To read that article really kind of opened my mind and said maybe we can do that, we can raise awareness for the cause through the means of sport," Dimich-Louvet said.
"To all to be walking or running around the track in the same….not wanting to be to beat each other is also kind of fun and will be new. We’ve never had the three high schools come together and not be competing against each other," Dimich-Louvet mentioned.
High school athletes, club members, other student groups, even alumni, will complete 15-minute heats either running or walking. Each participant pays
Laps4Life is also a party. Admission of Daylis will be free for Laps4Life event
The fees, as well as sponsorships he’s collected, will go to the Billings Education Foundation for use by Sue Runkle, who works with homeless students in the school district.
Runkle says last year there were some 164 homeless students in Billings’ three public high schools.
Runkle says it's a challenge for these students to stay in school.
"There are a lot of obstacles," she says. "There’s the obstacles of just the transportation. They may not be in the same place every night. And so getting that way to school every morning may be in issue. Maybe working late and being able to get up and get to school. The challenge is that way.
Runkle says the needs of these students vary. She has a
"I’ve bought sleeping bags and air mattresses for kids that are sleeping on a couch which makes it a little easier for them to have a place to stay. Sometimes it’s for clothing or food items, whatever the student needs to survive," Runkle says.
Jesse Dimich-Louvet says that nearly five percent of his peers do not have a home to go to at night is not acceptable. High school is hard enough without being homeless.
Laps4Life is from 4 to 6 P.M. on Saturday, September 21, at Daylis Stadium in Billings.