“Color Me Goodness” leaves Seneca High School as a painted canvas

Saturday, May 3 was a picturesque day at Seneca High School. Sunshine poured over the trees, temperatures hovered comfortably in the mid-60s and fluorescent blue, red, yellow and orange powder filled the morning air.

Wait. What?

Welcome to Seneca High School’s second annual “Color Me Goodness” run.

For the second year in a row, participants ran, walked and skipped their way along the school’s custom made course to raise funds for prevention programs at Seneca. Oh, and they’re pelted with color the entire time.

“Our students embrace the event. It’s taking something that is popular right now in a color run and combining it with a purpose and a goal of raising money as well as awareness for our outreach and prevention programs,” event coordinator and Seneca High School substance abuse counselor Erin Lawler said. “We had 450 participants and 900 pounds of color. I was in awe as I constantly am of our students and their ability to make a difference.”

“Color Me Goodness” participants begin the five-kilometer run with white shirts, shorts and whatever other articles of dress and finish having become a truly colored canvas. Lawler is hopeful that students see the message underneath all the dye in which they’ve been covered.

“I tell our students all the time that they have been given a blank canvas and they have the opportunity to color their own life. The run is very symbolic of that,” Lawler said.

Proceeds from the event were donated to a variety of efforts, including outreach activities such as the Camden Cathedral Kitchen and Philly Feed, prevention programs in Cooper Trauma and Drug Squad and the offsetting of financial challenges for students such as field trips and senior trip costs.

Though this is only the second year the school has hosted the “Color Me Goodness” run, Seneca students are no strangers to running for a worthy cause.

“We sort of took it off of the color runs that are being held nationally. It was a spin on the Precious Gems Run we’ve held in years past,” Lawler said. “It’s about making good decisions that can have an impact on others.”

The Precious Gems Memorial remembered four teens killed by a repeat drunken driving offender. The four girls, Megan Blong, Amanda Geiger, Shana Lawler and Angela McGrady, were from the Medford area. Lawler is confident the run will continue at the school, but there may be changes in the future.

“I definitely see the run going forward but we’ll see what we may want to do differently. I’d like to infuse the Precious Gems Memorial again,” Lawler said. “The run is a lot of work, but it is an amazing thing to be a part of. My heart was swelling with pride that we as a school made this happen.”