Students volunteer at WeSPARK walk/run


Printed with permission of Makenna Dovel

Daniela Quintero ’22 and Makenna Dovel ’23 pose with encouraging signs at the WeSPARK event.

Ella Yadegar

The WeSPARK Cancer Support Center hosted their 12th annual walk/run event at Lake Balboa on Jan. 30. Students volunteered to help participants at different stations along the 5k/10k race. Members of Community Council coordinated with WeSPARK after discovering the organization was in need of volunteers.

Founded in 2001, WeSPARK aims to enhance the lives of cancer patients and their families by providing free programs and services. According to its website, the non-profit organization offers acupuncture treatments, mindful living classes and nutrition counseling, among other programs.

Zoe Kramer ’24 said she found out about the event through an email from Community Council that piqued her interest.

“First of all, it was a good way to earn community service [hours],” Kramer said. “I thought it was a good cause and it was also local, I live right by where it was held. It felt like a good idea to give back to this organization.”

Kramer said volunteers worked to ensure that the race went smoothly for all runners.

“I was stationed at this spot where I was able to help people in strollers and wheelchairs get over a curb so they could continue on the race.” Kramer said. “It was honestly really empowering to see how many people came together to support this cause. They had a surplus of volunteers and the participants were working for something they believed in.”

Leo Craig ’24 said he decided to go to the event because he wanted to help other runners as they ran to support WeSPARK’s cause.

“I’m on the cross country team and a lot of my teammates were also at the event,” Craig said. “I would participate in an event like this again. I felt pretty satisfied that I was able to help people in the race.”

Makenna Dovel ’23 said she appreciated seeing such a large turnout of people volunteering and participating at the event.

“A lot of Harvard-Westlake students showed up to help which was fun, but there was also a ton of other volunteers from different schools and places around Los Angeles,” Dovel said in an email. “It was also so awesome and fulfilling to be behind the scenes of the race instead of running in it and cheer on all the runners.”