LAKE PLACID - Local students are planning to hold a zombie run this Saturday to raise money for a school trip to Costa Rica.
Kayla Hudson and Adele Jesmer are doing senior projects related to the trip, and they met with the News last week along with their adviser, Spanish teacher Jennifer Lawrence, to talk about the trip and the various fundraisers they are planning for it.
The Zombie Run is set to begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19 at the Mount Van Hoevenberg Biathlon Range, with registration opening at 9 a.m. Each runner will be given three tags, or "lives," at the beginning of the race, and students dressed as zombies stationed along the 5K trail will try to steal the tags.
Photo/Jessica Collier/For the News
Lake Placid High School seniors Kayla Hudson, left, and Adele Jesmer are planning to do service projects on a school trip to Costa Rica as their senior projects this year.
The first three runners who finish with at least one life will win a prize, like gift certificates to local establishments.
"There's a variety of prizes," Hudson said.
People who lose all their tags will be able to buy raffle tickets to win prizes as well.
Students will wear ripped clothes and put makeup on their faces to make them look like the undead.
"We're going to try to make them really realistic," Hudson said.
The kids got the idea because Lawrence did a zombie run last year in Morrisonville. She said having zombies run after you makes a 5K more fun.
"It's a good motivator for people who aren't avid runners," Lawrence said.
Hudson said she wishes she could run in the race, but she's also looking forward to dressing up as a zombie. She said there's been a lot of interest so far.
"I think it's going to be fun to be a zombie and chase people around," Hudson said.
The run is a fundraiser for the trip that about eight high school Spanish students and Environmental Club members are planning to take to the Central American country of Costa Rica from April 13 through 21, the school's spring break. For the bulk of the trip, students will work on service projects to help people there.
The group is using an organization called Sustainable Horizon, which connects volunteer groups with service projects that will help create sustainable futures for people all over the world. Lawrence told the News she and Environmental Club adviser Tammy Morgan are joining forces on the trip, and Morgan's daughter has traveled with Sustainable Horizon before, which is how they knew it was a trustworthy organization.
"They've done some really wonderful things," Lawrence said.
For Jesmer's senior project, she plans to head up a project that will help Costa Rican families build fuel efficient eco-stoves for their homes. Currently many people there cook on open flames inside their homes, which then fill up with smoke.
"It's not good for their health," Jesmer told the News.
She doesn't know a ton about the stoves yet, but Sustainable Horizons will train her once she gets to Costa Rica.
That will be the bulk of the group's activity during work time. Hudson will lead up what the group does on its free time with her project, which is collecting sports equipment to bring to Costa Rica and give to a community where it is needed.
She said she plans to ask gym teachers around the area, plus family and friends, in addition to posting flyers asking for equipment donations. If anyone has items to donate, they can email Lawrence at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The girls had the idea for the trip while watching a video on Chili in class. They said they wanted to go there, but Lawrence said that was too far away. She suggested Costa Rica instead. Morgan has been looking to do a similar trip, so since the school is small and it's tough to get enough kids on board from one subject, the two groups joined up for a trip that will serve both purposes.
The students won't have to speak Spanish - a few of them aren't in Spanish class at all - but they will get the chance to try it plenty while in Costa Rica.
For the first part of their trip, they will stay will host families, who will likely be able to speak some English if the students can't communicate in Spanish.
"They're used to having people from America coming to do service projects," Hudson said.
At the end of the trip, there will also be some downtime to zipline through the jungle and visit a national park.
Hudson said she and her classmates wanted to finish their senior year "with a bang," as well as to experience a new culture and see what it's like to live in an underdeveloped area. Jesmer said she's excited to experience something beyond what she's used to in Lake Placid.
They are also all excited to see sloths and other unusual animals in the jungle.
April is a long time to wait, they said.
"It seems like so far away," Hudson said.
But that gives them time to raise money for the trip. They are also planning a bottle drive, and they're selling soap. For $30, people get a three-pack gift set of vegan, cruelty-free soap, and for ever bar sold, an organization called Hand in Hand will donate one bar of soap and one month of clean water to a child in Haiti to prevent water-related illness.
"Three months of clean water down there is a lot, so you'll really be making an impact on the community," Hudson said.
They're also thinking about other fundraisers, like a dodgeball tournament.
The trip will cost about $2,300 for each student, so they're trying to raise as much toward that price as possible.
Jesmer and Hudson said they plan to give a presentation on their trip to younger Spanish classes when they get back to hopefully inspire them to go on a trip and start fundraising for it earlier.
The students plan to present plans for their trip to the Lake Placid Central School District Board of Education at the board's Nov. 5 meeting.
This weekend's Zombie Run is $10 for the 5K, and $5 for the half-mile kids run. There won't be any zombies on the kids run.
Anyone who wants to pre-register can mail a check payable to "Environmental Club" to Jennifer Lawrence at 34 School St., Lake Placid, NY 12946, or email Lawrence. Those registering should include the name, age and gender of the participant and whether he or she plans to run the 5K or the kids run.
All participants are encouraged to dress in costume.
Contact Jessica Collier at
891-2600 ext. 26 or