Ellen Young has shared her passion for running and fitness with countless others as a longtime leader at Red Dog’s Dog Days community workouts and a volunteer coordinator for numerous races in the region, including the Red Dog Run, Jingle Jog and Mass Street Mile. Young became a certified running coach 3 years ago, and founded a running group, “Running for the Hill of It,” which has about 40 members. Young enjoys helping others and believes in paying it forward. Before joining Red Dog’s Dog Days 17 years ago, Young was an overweight mom trying to get in shape. She could barely run a half-mile, but she never gave up, and 6 months later, she ran her first 5K. Since then, she has completed numerous races, including four marathons.
“First and foremost, Ellen is a kind and giving person in all ways. She is always willing to help - whatever the situation. When it comes to health and being a running coach she is beyond passionate about helping others. She never makes me feel like I’m failing or not doing enough. Every move and every person is valuable to her. It makes me want to keep running just to be able to spend time with her.” — Janice Olker, member of “Running for the Hill of It”
Free State High School senior Logan Brown, 18, has volunteered for 3 years at GaDuGi SafeCenter, which provides 24-hour services for women, children, and men affected by sexual violence. She began her volunteer work by answering phones and filing paperwork, but soon wanted to do more. She created and organized an annual “Shoppin’ for Survivors” fundraiser, which has helped keep programs operating. Brown also has helped victims in recovering and seeking justice through her volunteer work at GaDuGi SafeCenter and the District Attorney’s office. Brown is the Kansas representative for the D.A.R.E. Youth Advisory and she works with the Kansas Juvenile Officers Association to help children and prevent drug abuse.
“I hold Logan in the highest esteem, and I can attest she is not one to back down from a challenge, either academic or personal. She finishes what she starts and never lets adversity get her down. Logan gives me hope for a better tomorrow.” - Chrissy Heikilla, GaDuGi SafeCenter Director