Q&A with Melissa Belk - GOTR Coach, Donor, and SoleMate


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Local Volunteer Honored with National Award

Long-time Girls on the Run of South Central Wisconsin volunteer coach Joy Newman has been recognized by Girls on the Run International with their Remarkable Volunteer Award, a national volunteer recognition program that acknowledges the inspirational impact volunteers have on Girls on the Run. Joy was selected from a large pool of nominations sent from Girls on the Run councils across the country.

Joy has served Girls on the Run as a volunteer coach and site liaison since 2015. Joy has led the team at Mount Horeb Intermediate School for 14 seasons, serving nearly 300 participants during that time. Joy came to Girls on the Run as a “parent” coach and loved it so much she coached 3 of her daughters over the last 7 years.

Mount Horeb co-coach Jason McMahon shared, “She’s a tremendous role model for the girls. It’s been a real joy — pardon the pun — to watch how they respond to her. They respect her, they look up to her, and they love her. We couldn’t ask for a better coach to lead our girls.”

When asked about her impact, Girls on the Run’s Director of Programming, Annie Taff said, “Joy is a strong communicator and connection point with the school and families, ensuring all kids are aware of program registration and financial assistance. As a testament to her leadership and organization skills, GOTR coaches who volunteer with Joy love working with her and continue to come back season over season.”

Joy’s service to Girls on the Run will be recognized and celebrated at a Madison Mallards game on Tuesday, July 26th where she will throw out the ceremonial first pitch of the game.

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We inspire girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running. Non-profit girl empowerment after-school program for girls.

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