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Regina Leonard Regina Leonard
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By the time you read this, I will have run my first ever 10K in the Champion the Cure Challenge, which raises money for the Lafayette Cancer Center in Brewer. I see cancer come into my salon all too often, and I have shaved so many heads during my 11-year career that I feel like I can't only work in this community, I need to give back. This year, after some recent weight loss, I decided to go out on my own and commit to running my very first 10k. I ran track in high school and never even ran that far. I knew that by registering I had to commit to actually doing it and doing it well (because this is just how I am with anything). Champion the Cure only required that I get sponsored $75 to participate, and I set a personal goal of raising $500. I am in contact with people every day, so why not use that aspect of my career to support the local cancer center and also encourage me to reach a personal goal all at the same time?

A donation jar was set up at our front desk at the salon, and letting people know was really all it took to get started. Everyone was really excited about what I was doing, and it was also a way to connect with people and hear their personal stories of how cancer touched their lives. Every dollar put into the jar inspired me to run longer, harder and faster. This has been one of the coolest experiences of my life. I wanted to share this with you today in hopes it would get you excited and inspired to reach out to a cause that means something to you and be able to use your career, your social circle and your everyday life as a means to support the many local charities we have in our area. There are no words to describe how much this will impact your life in the most positive way.

I not only met my goal of $500, I well exceeded it! I went even further and told everyone that if they sponsored $20 I would write the name of their choice on my body in permanent ink on race day so that I would be running for them. While running, I could look down and remember why I was doing what I was doing. And I am very proud and thankful to say that I raised well over $1,000!

It doesn't take much to make a big impact. A lot of us doing just a little can make big change in our community. I challenge you today to give it a try!

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