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Pace HS student's Run for the Water 5K
PACE -- While many high school students are focused on football games, heading to the beach, or maybe even picking a college, one high school senior in Pace is focused on saving lives around the world.
Three years ago, 17-year-old Austin Hardcastle was on a mission trip with his father in Haiti. What he saw there changed his life.
Austin Hardcastle says, "While I was there we were working in a medical clinic and almost everybody who came in was suffering from some effect of dehydration or impure water."
Austin's Father, Rick Hardcastle remembers, "We saw kids drawing water out of puddles, out of dirty rivers where they had thrown dead animals and things had washed into the river. "
Austin says, "And I just loved the people so much that I didn't know how I could be here in such a comfortable environment and not be doing anything to help them improve their life."
Austin decided he would raise money to build a well to provide them with clean water. He figured, "If I wanted to raise money for one well, little things like bake sales and car washes weren't going to cut it."
So Austin joined with the Pea Ridge Running Club last year to start the "Run for Water 5k".
"Last year we were able to raise a little over $5,000 which is able to fund one well that's currently serving about 300 people in Haiti," says Austin.
This year, his target is to double that amount, which is not a surprise to those who know him.
Steve Knowlton, the assistant principal for Pace High School shares, "One of our goals here at Pace HS in education in general is to make good citizens. And Austin is a great example of that."
Austin's dad agrees. "It's not just something that he thinks about every now and then, he thinks about it every day."
Austin says, "Feels like I'm just doing what I need to do. I don't' like comparing myself to other people, I'm just trying to help the best way that I can."
His dad is very proud.
You can still register and join the Run for Water 5k. Registration will be a Pace High School this Saturday, September 14th beginning at 6:45 am. The cost is $25.00. The run will begin at 7:30 am.