Franklin Academy graduate Myles Schanck knew when the pandemic hit that its effects would be far-reaching; but he could never have imagined how many people it would affect, nor how much he would be able to help.
After graduating from FA, Myles spent two years in Romania on a church service mission. During this time, he volunteered at a children’s shelter called Vis de Copil, which translates to “a child’s dream.” Upon returning to Malone, Myles worked with the FA cross-country team, of which he had been a member, to collect hats, socks, and mittens for the children at Vis de Copil.
Myles recently became aware that the shelter was in danger of closing its doors to the many children it helps due to the financial impact their donors are facing in light of the quarantine that families and businesses are experiencing worldwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The idea that the shelter might close made Myles think of local businesses in America that are suffering, and how this will affect their communities and the programs that these businesses support.
Seeing this as an opportunity to help, Myles decided to organize The Human Race Virtual 5K and send all proceeds directly to Vis de Copil. Along with the race, Myles organized a Facebook page to foster a sense of community among the many participants interested in supporting the shelter.
The Human Race Virtual 5K Facebook page is designed to be interactive. Throughout the month, it will feature local businesses from all across America that will be telling their stories, sharing the ways they give back to their communities, and inviting community members to support them in return during this critical time.
Bokie’s Drive-In and The Pines Tap and Table, which are both owned by Franklin Academy graduates, are two of many sponsoring businesses. FA graduate Adam Pelkey, who was a member of the philharmonic orchestra and is now an early childhood music teacher in Cleveland, will be featuring tutorials on various musical instruments and also include a tour of the oldest Hungarian organ in the United States.
Kathy Wilcox from Malone Yoga and Wellness will have a Weekly Yin yoga session. Tracy Scharf, a sign language teacher in the Malone school system, will give an introduction to sign language and Deaf culture.
“There is a big Malone connection,” Myles said.
Myles was also able to partner with the streaming documentary, “Runner,” whose director has agreed to donate 20% of ticket sales receipts directly to Vis de Copil. The film has received high reviews from the likes of Hollywood Reporter and Runner’s World Magazine.
Olympic athlete and winter sports champion Rebecca Dussault, USA Olympic bobsled team member Chad Walsh, Buffalo Bills tight end Dawson Knox, Houston Texans wide receiver Chad Hansen are a few of the many contributors to the Human Race Virtual 5K. These athletes have donated their time and voices to the 5K’s promotional video produced by Nick Tweter.
“Other amazing people are getting involved from around the world –– a former college football player and Norwegian medical doctor, to name a few,” Myles commented.
The musical score for the promotional video is by Scott Racozy, who has done scores for companies such as Netflix, Warner Brothers and Spotify. All volunteered to help put together the event.
Myles explained that a virtual 5K is very similar to a regular 5K: register online and pick your starting line, whether it is a treadmill or around your neighborhood.
Run, walk or jog. Record your finishing time, and a few short days later, receive your race shirt. The shirts are hand-designed by a family-owned T-shirt company out of Atlanta.
One of the benefits of a virtual 5K is that you choose your course, and you can do it around your schedule. The race is taking place between June 19 and July 20, which lends ample time and flexibility for all who want to participate.
“Don’t worry! Even though we won’t meet together to run, there is still an amazing opportunity to come together on our community Facebook race group page. We will be featuring live concerts, highlighting local restaurants, and offering various classes such as beekeeping, yoga, and so much more. This will be a real community experience.” Myles said.
Myles said he wanted a way to promote a fun, healthy way to get out and run, support locally owned businesses, and create awareness of our global community by bringing everyone together.
Myles currently serves in the United States Air Force and lives with his family in Florida.
You can join the Facebook page, The Human Race Virtual 5K, to sign up for the race, view the promo video, purchase your ticket to stream the Runner documentary, and participate in all the events. There is also an Instagram page.
Donations welcome and accepted on Venmo @Vis-de-Copil.
The most significant thing Myles, who is 29 years old, said he has learned from putting this race together is that although we live distantly, we are all one global community, and the Human Race Runs Better Together.