In this issue..
- Summer News update from Heidi Boynton, Executive Director
- RUN.SWEAT.LOVE / 8 DAYS AND 105 MILES - Recap
- One4One Coach Spotlight
- Meet a Mini Mermaid- Riley's Story
- 2015/16 Enrollment Opportunities
SUMMER NEWS UPDATE FROM HEIDI BOYNTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Summer is FLYING by and we are gearing up for an exciting school year. Our international programming has taken off in full force. We are thrilled to be partnering with Hannah Corne in the UK to bring the message of worth and value to children all across the country. In Switzerland, we are working with SHEzone's Charlaine Jannerfeldt to help girls discover their own finish lines. We are thrilled to be relaunching our program in Baghdad, Iraq, with Zaineb Omran. The civil unrest has subsided enough for the girls to be safe running in their women only parks. Last but not least, with the help of Chloe Chick of SisuGirls in Singapore we are bringing girls our message of finding your voice, connecting to your own community and growing them to stand up for themselves and others.
This school year we anticipate expanding into at least 5 new states and serving over 2000 girls. While we grow our One4One programming we still need your support in bringing our program FREE to our most vulnerable girls. Would you consider donating? Every $75 you donate allows one girl to participate in our six-week session. Not only will we continue our programming and grow Mini Mermaids, we will be launching our brand new Running Club for boys! An incredible team has been working tirelessly to develop a unique program for boys focused on each boy's emotional AND physical health and well-being. Our boy's club is not another competition driven sports program, we are creating an opportunity for boys discover a new definition of strength steeped in attributes of self-compassion, common humanity, empathy, and cooperation. Want to bring this to boys in your community? Email me at and I'll tell you more!
While the summer carries on, we are hard at work in MMRC HQ to respond to the demand for our program, grow as an organization and stay true to our core values - Movement, Mentorship, Respect and Change. Thank you for being a part of the work, for supporting us, for spreading the word. Without you - we would not be able to do it. Helping children all over the world understand their heart, mind and body are wonderful, unique and perfectly theirs - it's work for which we need many hands in order to accomplish. THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart.
RUN.SWEAT.LOVE / 8 DAYS AND 105 MILES WITH HEIDI BOYNTON
RECAP BY DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS, CHRIS DEPPMEIER
My role in our organization is on the business side, and I like it that way. I have not coached, my daughters did not go through the program, and I learned during RUN.SWEAT.LOVE that in Curriculum One Mini Mermaid trades her tail for legs and feet (this explains SO much!). For 8 days, I had the priviledge to see our program in full color 3-D, to hear girls talk about Mini Mermaid and Siren, to have teary coaches tell me our program is changing their community, and to witness beauty in action as our executive director poured out every ounce she had. For 8 days I traded my laptop and spreadsheets for a bike with a flag and a pocket full of Swedish Fish, and I gained a new lense from which to view our work.
I had a front row seat for Run.Sweat.Love and I watched, as one parent called her “the little blonde woman” mix a 105 mile cocktail with a generous measure of pain, lots of laughter, and some serious stubbornness. Heidi trained well and many hands contributed to this effort, but the bottom line? Mile after mile was run by a woman determined to make a difference in this wild broken world NO MATTER what. No matter how tired (and she was tired). No matter how hot (and it got h-o-t). No matter the shape of her pinky toe (and trust me when I say it was ugly). As we would approach each school, the excitement would build into a flurry of girls running the last few laps with unabandoned joy, and with Heidi who may have had the most joy of all trying not to get tangled and taken down in these Mini Mermaid legs and feet.
105 miles is a crazy amount of pavement-pounding stress on a body, especially a body already challenged by so very much. Heidi approached every day with something I am lucky enough to have gotten to know well--her internal intensity. I recognized her intensity as the same focus she brings to guiding and growing our non-profit, day in and day out. Yes there were goofy videos, mid-run dancing, the highest quality singing and ridiculous discussions, don’t get me wrong, there was plenty of nuttiness to go around. This intensity, however, would precede the start of each run, the quiet before the storm of bearing all it would take for her to get to the girls that day to say to each of them: “YOU are WORTH it.” You can’t say this enough, and you can’t hear this enough, and when you do you start to believe it. At any age. For 8 days I saw Mini Mermaids who were hearing it, believing it, and embracing this truth.
105 miles is a crazy amount of pavement-pounding time to think about.... well...105 miles! I don’t know when Siren and Heidi talked during those days, but at some point they must have had a doozie of a conversation. I don’t know quite how much knee pain Heidi was in because she didn’t discuss it. I don’t know how she battled through a miserable wind in Watsonville for her fifth run in as many days. I don’t know what was going through her head as she powered up the last hills on a hot dusty road with a smile on her face when it had to suck. And only she knows the depth of her tears as she crossed her finish line in Mexico.
What I do know is Heidi’s running was compact and steady and to form, truly remarkable and this spoke volumes to her perseverance and training. It seemed like every step she took was deliberate, an intentional step for a girl who needs our programming. Every step we take as Mini Mermaid Running Club is with intention, it is about changing the conversation, providing new words and ways for girls to relate to this world and to be in this world, regardless of their circumstances. As we evolve as an organization, we are right there with our Mini Mermaids finding our own voice and growing our tribe - the community with whom we surround ourselves and who help to propel our mission forward. THANK YOU for supporting us and for being our tribe. What I discovered crossing the finish line in Mexico (you know, on my bike with snacks) is...the first five years have just been the beginning.
It's not to late to donate to the cause and get your very own RUN.SWEAT.LOVE t-shirt. Email us at
ONE4ONE COACH SPOTLIGHT- KELLY MOGILEFSKY
Kelly is a coach at Chabot Elementary and her Mini Mermaids recently completed the Run to Play 5K in Castro Valley. By day, coach Kelly is a University Lecturer at CSU East Bay. Here's what she had to say about her experience as a Mini Mermaid Running Club Coach:
I started running later in life, and my running journey has had a profound impact on my life. I wanted to share my experience with my own kids, especially my daughter. As the President of their school's Parent Club, I was contacted by Mini-Mermaids to see if our school would be interested. The program was a perfect fit for me personally and for the school. I loved that the program could serve a school like ours with fees while also supporting a free experience for girls in higher need schools.
I was a little skeptical about the curriculum at first, but I think in the end I enjoyed that element quite a lot. I saw our girls go from being very uncertain about their abilities--very unsure that their best was good enough--to being able to shout out their positive thoughts to themselves and to each other. I was surprised at just how close to home many of the issues hit--we think if we don't ask about them, those negative feelings won't be there, but they are! Raising the issues gives us a chance to address and guide their thinking.
Thanks, Kelly! Interested in coaching? Email us at
MINIMERMAID SPOTLIGHT- RILEY, VALENCIA ELEMENTARY, APTOS, CA
Like many girls her age, Riley has been bullied in the past and is nervous about her pending transition to Junior High in the fall. At the start of Mini Mermaids, Riley was very candid about the Siren voice she hears in her head and how hardit is to get her to "be quiet" sometimes. According to her coach, Michelle, " I witnessed a transformation in Riley over the course of the program as did her family. She was very serious about her running goals and achieving them. She was not the fastest among our group, but took the "run your own race at your own pace" motto seriously and developed a very consistent run/walk strategy which really worked well for her. At Valencia we agreed as a group to avoid asking each other, 'how many laps did you run.' Instead, we asked each other, 'did you meet your goal today?' Riley has been an especially inspirational girl for me to coach this year."
Riley's family has seen a huge change in her as well. Her mom wrote on the completiong of the program, "Riley says she feels more in shape. She also said that she's always loved running but has felt discouraged because people would make fun of how slow she ran and now she doesn't mind if/when anybody says anything because she has fallen in love with running!!! She says she has gotten lots of support from all of the many mermaids, friends, and family, including her two dogs (who love to run)."
Congratulations to Riley and all the Mini Mermaids of the world who and encourage and inspire us every day!
ENROLLMENT IS OPEN FOR THESE UPCOMING 2015-16 SESSIONS
MORGAN HILL, CA Sessions begin the week of September 14, end at Morgan Hill Marathon 5K Oct. 25. Contact for programming info before 8/3.
SAN FRANCISCO, CA Sessions begin the week of September 21, ends at Mermaid Series 5k Nov. 1. Contact for programming info before 8/10.
LODI, CA Sessions begin the week of Oct. 5, end on Nov. 21. Contact for programming info before 8/24.
PLAINs, MONTANA Sessions begin the week of September 14, end on Oct. 24. Contact for programming info before 8/3.
SACRAMENTO, CA Sessions begin the week of November 2, end on Dec. 20. Contact for programming info before 9/1.
Registration for Spring Sessions opens this fall. Space is limited to register your Mini Mermaid early.
San Jose- starts Jan 17, race day Feb 27.
San Diego- starts Feb 29, race day April 16.
East bay- starts March 21, race day May 7
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