In these parts, fun runs and 5-kilometer runs are a dime a dozen, so members of the Harker Heights High School Interact Club got the bright idea to put a twist on the popular fundraiser.

The high-schoolers hosted a glow-in-the-dark run Saturday at Carl Levin Park, attracting more than 200 participants.

The Harker Heights High School’s Interact Club, the high school version of the Harker Heights Rotary Club, put together the “Ready, Set, Glow” fundraiser to support Rotary Books for the World, which will provide books, money and school supplies to children in Africa.

“Over $6,800 was raised through those who paid admission for the run/walk, personal donations and various sponsorships,” said Jessica Babbit, Interact Club president.

The landscape was illuminated with glow sticks, three lighted glow arches, 1,000 feet of string lights, 500 glow sticks and glow bracelets.

For the younger kids, there was face painting, balloon animals, bubbles, and glowing hula hoops and jump ropes. Those in the fun run and walk were told to wear glow-in-the-dark finery.

Prizes were given away for the best and brightest costumes.

“People were most impressed that this was put together by high school kids,” said Jeremy Candeles, Interact vice-president. “They obviously liked the lights, but the fact that we pulled this together in two months time surprised them.”

The club began planning in February.

“People came in costumes, tutus and one person who was even wearing horns that lit up,” said John Johnston, Interact Rotary adviser. “It was all so surreal, neat and awesome!”

Twenty-students from Flatonia Independent School District also attended. They not only volunteered to help with the event, but were interested in helping clean up and see what it was like to plan the event.

“There’s not just one word to describe this,” Babbit said. “(I was) standing at the starting line and (was) almost tearing up because of all the work we had put into it. It was moving to know people were having fun and helping support the community.”

Assistance was provided by Heights Rotary Club members, Heights Park and Recreation, and HHHS Interact Adviser Stacy Stool.

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