The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

October 7, 2012

Person of the Week: Taking cutbacks in stride: Ligonier Valley 4-H’er plans 5K walk/run to benefit athletic fund

— Phebe Cornell runs for her school and is asking others to join her.

A member of the Ligonier Valley High School Rams track team, Phebe is organizing a 5K run and walk on Oct. 20 to raise funds for the school’s athletic fund.

Due to economic reasons, funding has been cut to that program, which also supports the marching band, she said.

“The majority of students are involved in athletics or the band,” said the junior, who also plays basketball and soccer. “It’s important to have athletics and the band for students.”

Phebe, who was crowed Miss Ligonier 2012 on Sept. 29 in a scholarship pageant held by the Rotary Club of Ligonier, said the money raised at the race will be used in a way that is deemed to be most beneficial.

The race also is Phebe’s Diamond Award project for her 4-H chapter. A member of the Chestnut Ridge Chapter, she named the race the Clover 4 Rams Run to bring awareness to the the club and her school.

The race, open to people of all ages, is scheduled to start at 8 a.m. at Weller Field at Standard Bank Stadium in Ligonier.

The cost to race is $20 for people who register by Sunday; $25 for people who sign up by Oct. 19; and $30 for those who register on race day. More information about the race and where people can

register can be found at or on the school district’s website,

Phebe, an active member at Calvary United Methodist Church in Ligonier, said she has been receiving plenty of support in organizing the event. Helping have been her parents, Evan and Karen Cornell; her mentor for the project and a Ligonier Valley school director, Irma Hutchinson; her 4-H chapter; and her classmates in the National Honor Society and Alliance of Student Athletes.

For her efforts at helping her school, Phebe, who also is a volunteer at Latrobe Regional Hospital, is the Person of the Week.

Hutchinson said Phebe has been the ultimate protégé during the project.

“She is organized, focused, seeks advice when necessary and follows through on suggestions,” Hutchinson said.

Phebe is working hard on the project and already has secured sponsorships exceeding $1,000, Hutchinson said.

People who cannot participate in the race but want to help can do so by sending donations to the school district, 339 W. Main St., Ligonier, Pa. 15658, she said.

Tim Kantor, Ligonier Valley High School principal, said Phebe is doing an outstanding job on the project.

“She has put a lot of time and effort into the project,” he said. “She’s eager and ready to go.”

Phebe is using the project as a way for the community to help students through the athletic fund, he said.

“She’s a great student and a real asset to Ligonier Valley,” he said.

Amy Andrews, organizational leader for the Chestnut Ridge 4-H Club, said Phebe came up with the idea of holding a race to benefit the school while running in a benefit race over the summer.

“She’s doing a wonderful job,” Andrews said. “She’s very mature for her age and self-sufficient.

“She’s a natural leader. She knows what she wants to do and gets it done.”

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