Help 1,000 Deserving Children Receive A New Pair Of Shoes

By Denise Pinkney

Ten-year-old Jonika Howard wants to do her part to help area children receive a pair of shoes. Jonika’s Junior Girl Scout troop from Casselton, N.D., will participate in the Fargo Marathon 5K on Friday, May 18.


Junior Girl Scouts Kia Johnson, Katie Kempel, Abby Faliede, Danielle Fontaine and Jonika Howard plan to participate in the Fargo Marathon 5K this year to help needy children receive a pair of shoes. The group is pictured at last year’s Fargo Marathon Youth Run.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota (BCBSND), the Fargo Marathon, Dakota Medical Foundation and Nike are working together to buy new shoes for underprivileged kids in the Fargo-Moorhead community.

Whether they run or walk, or do a mix of both, the girls are determined to help others. More than 25 percent of children in the community are in need of financial assistance.

“They all wanted to try the 5K this year to help kids who need shoes and to get a ‘real’ medal,” Jonika’s mom, Lori Howard, who is a team leader in Corporate Wellness at BCBSND.

In all, eight girls from the troop will participate. Last year, members of the troop participated in the Youth Run at the Fargo Marathon.

10,000 participants needed
One dollar of your Fargo Marathon 5K registration fee will go toward a new pair of shoes and your dollar will be matched with help from BCBSND, the Fargo Marathon and DMF. BCBSND is the corporate sponsor of the event.

If 10,000 people participate, that will provide 1,000 pairs of shoes. As of April 26, about 5,800 people had registered for the 5K.

Registration fees increase after Monday, April 30
Registration fees for the 2012 Fargo Marathon events will increase after April 30, so if you’re planning to take part in any of the May 17-19 events, now is the time to register online for the marathon events at

Denise Pinkney works as an editor at BCBSND. For more information, visit