The Running4Soles Podcast

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March 4, 2019  

Laura Baumgardner and the 7th Annual Run for Respect

March 4, 2019

This is the podcast episode number 78. 

Back in 2017, I met Laura Baumgartner and three of her students - Mitch, Nick and Austin - from Pontiac High School in Illinois. These young men were three of Laura's special needs students. After spending time with them, I came to see these three as just plain special.
Every year Laura and her students partner with Special Olympics Illinois to host an annual Run for Respect. The mission behind the run is to get rid of the "R-word" retarded and replace it with the "R-word" respect. I find the beauty of what Laura and her students are doing in their hearts. Laura's students aren't asking their community to respect themTheir fight is for everyone to be respected by everyone. That's a beautiful fight - a fight we'd all be well served getting behind. 

In this interview, Laura and I talk about her passion for teaching her students and for making a difference in the community she grew up in. With help from the running community, Laura and her students have been able to build a culture of acceptance and inclusion in Pontiac, Illinois.

This is a beautiful story about how one idea applied with a whole lot of heart really can make a difference in the world. 

To register for the 7th annual Run for Respect - either in person or virtually - go here:

To follow the Run for Respect Facebook Page go here:



Introduction and closing song: One Flame to Burn (Prospect 7)

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