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Massena youngsters become mighty milers

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MASSENA - Growing up in the Edwards-Knox Central School District, Mike Matejcik enjoyed the small school athletic staples of soccer, basketball and baseball.

As an adult he became a dedicated distance runner and a proponent of a runner’s healthy and vigorous lifestyle.

As a physical education instructor at the Madison Elementary School in Massena, he wanted his students to experience the joys of running and the fruits of a fit, active lifestyle. He and his wife Andrea also wanted to do everything possible so that their two daughters grow up in an atmosphere where fitness is regarded as a high priority.

To do so he wrote and won a grant from the New York Road Runners for the 2012-13 school year for a program called Mighty Milers (www.mightymilers.org).

This program gives incentives for kids that run/walk a certain number of miles over the course of the school year.

“I had all the kids at Madison run at the beginning of their PE classes and then at a specific time at the end of the day from September until June,” says Matejcik.

“Over that period of time we as a school ran 29,000 miles! I had three children make it over 200 miles individually and another 14 make it over 100 miles. It was truly an amazing experience for me as an educator and for the community at Madison.”

The experience got even more amazing.

Being a site coordinator in the Mighty Milers led to Matejcik’s becoming involved in the Team for Kids Program of the New York Road Runners which is the world’s premier community running organization and plays major role the ING New York City Marathon.

At the end of June, he received an email about raising money for the NYRR Team for Kids program which seeks to combat childhood obesity and encourage youth development through running and character-building programs in low income schools and community centers in New York City, throughout the country and in Africa.

It was explained to him if he reached a fund-raising goal of $2500 he would be guaranteed a highly-coveted spot, world-wide, in the ING NYC Marathon on Nov. 3rd.

Matejcik has surpassed his goal and his fund-raising has surpassed $2700 mark and counting.

“I am thrilled to have reached my goal but I am still working to raise more money. This is a charity that I have seen benefit the students at Madison Elementary and I really believe in it,” he says.

“The students in our school inspired me to attempt to fulfill my dream of running in the ING New York City Marathon.”

Matejcik wished to publicly thank all of his sponsors and encourage others to donate to help insure the continuation of the Mighty Milers program at Madison Elementary School.

“All donations can ensure that this great program can continue at our school and others like us,” he says.

“It changed Madison Elementary School for the better and has impacted my students more that I could have ever anticipated.”

Anyone wishing to donate should do so through Matejcik’s fund-rasing website.http://www.runwithtfk.org/Profile/PublicPage/13067

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