• 64°

Teen to hold 5K for charity

Local teenager Maggie Bridges is determined to use her activities and opportunities to make a difference in the lives of others.

Bridges, the 17-year-old daughter of John and Cathy Bridges of Brinson, stays constantly busy with school, church and extracurricular activities, but still manages to find some time to devote to community service.

This coming Saturday, Bridges will host the Fit for Life 5K and Fun Run at the Springhill Christmas Tree Farm, located on Woodhull Road off U.S. 27 South. For the past few months, Bridges, who is a junior at Southwest Georgia Academy, has been planning, gathering sponsorships and coordinating volunteers for the event all by herself to raise money for charity.

The 5K and Fun Run begins at 8 a.m., while the races begin at 9 a.m. on the scenic, wooded course. All proceeds from the run will be donated to the Children’s Miracle Network, a network of hospitals providing special pediatric care.

Working for health

For Bridges, organizing the 5K has been about helping others. Children’s Miracle Network is the official platform of the Miss America Organization.

In June, Bridges will compete in the Miss Georgia Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant for the second consecutive year. In 2009, she finished second runner-up in the pageant, which is affiliated with Miss America. This year, she has qualified by being named the 2010 Miss Southern Heartland’s Outstanding Teen.

Each young lady who qualifies for the pageant chooses a platform, and for Bridges, it is “Fit for Life: Building Tomorrow’s Lifestyles.” She hopes that by encouraging people of all ages to be physically active, they will enjoy a happy, healthy life. Toward that goal, she is developing educational pamphlets and is planning to speak to area civic groups and students about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

About Miss Bridges

Miss Bridges is active at her school and church, as well as in her community. She is on the YMCA Extreme Swim Team. She sings in the girls’ solo and trio for her school’s Literary Team, and also participates in the personal essay competition.

An honor roll student, she is a member of her school’s Student Council, is a member of the Beta Club and is vice-president of the HANDS service club at her school. She also writes for the student newspaper, “The Warrior’s Word.”

She is a member of the praise band and youth leadership team at Bainbridge First United Methodist Church, sings in the youth and chancel choirs and joined other members of her church on a mission to build a church in Mexico last year.

She is a member of the Deep South Competition Dance Team at Murkerson Dance Academy. She also takes music and voice lessons and when school is not in session, she is a fashion model and works at her family’s produce stand.