Run to change a life

Registration for Chai Lifeline’s charity marathon-running training program, Teen Lifeline, has opened, and a group is training in Los Angeles for the first time since the program started in 2006.

Every participating runner must raise $3,600, with all the proceeds benefitting Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, Chai Lifeline’s medically supervised summer camps in New York for children with life-threatening illnesses.

“This is a local training team, so California people can get together, have camaraderie and prepare for the race together,” said Moshe Turk, national race director for Team Lifeline. “There have always been participants from L.A., but never before a structured” group that trains together.

Those who join Team Lifeline can choose to run in either the Rock ’n’ Roll Las Vegas marathon and half marathon, taking place this December, or the ING Miami marathon or half marathon in January 2012.

Chai Lifeline pays for each runner’s round-trip airfare to either Miami or Las Vegas, three nights in a hotel, transportation to and from the marathons, optional Shabbat dinners and lunches, and pre-race pasta parties (provided he or she has met the minimum fundraising requirement).

Turk said that Team Lifeline raised $1.6 million last year, with almost 400 participants from 26 cities. Proceeds from Team Lifeline help Chai Lifeline keep the summer camps free to families with children suffering from pediatric diseases, including cancer, blood disorders and other chronic illnesses.

Local Team Lifeline runners, in addition to having the benefit of a group to run and train with, will receive a detailed training schedule that says exactly how much they should be running each week and online coaching.

“The majority [of runners] have no running experience,” Turk said. This is for everyone — “from the couch potato to the marathoner.”

Holidays not on the calendar

JCLLA’s Dog-Day Afternoon

The Jewish Community Library of Los Angeles had a furry good time on Feb. 4 when Cantor Marcelo Gindlin, above, came by to sing and read a new book called “Alfie’s Bark Mitzvah.” The book, written by Shari Cohen, includes a CD with five of Gindlin’s songs.

Holidays NOT on the Calendar

In addition to the holidays you might already be celebrating in March, like Purim, why not add some of these?

March 3: National Anthem Day — On this day in 1931 “The Star Spangled Banner” was adopted by Congress as the national anthem. So try and hit that high note; we won’t tell anyone if your voice cracks.

March 9: Barbie’s Birthday — Ruth Handler’s Barbie came to stores on this day in 1959. This blonde-haired, blue-eyed gal can “do anything” with a smile. Ask your mom or aunt about her first doll (and if she still has it).

Do you think history is just a thing of the past? Think again!

Publishers of the “Blast to the Past” chapter-book series (Aladdin, $3.99), about a group of time-traveling third-graders, just released book No. 7: “Washington’s War.”

Will Abigail and her friends convince George Washington to fight the Revolutionary War, or will the father of our country just pack his bags and go home? The series, by Stacia Deutsch and Rhody Cohon, is a fun way to learn about some of the most famous people in American history — such as Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Lincoln and Benjamin Franklin — and is a great adventure for anyone in second through fifth grade.

To learn more, visit ‘ TARGET=’_blank’>

YeLAdim will be mixing it up this year with more reviews of movies, books, music and TV shows than ever before. If you have a review you’ve written (or want to write) or have heard of something that you want us to know about, e-mail You’ll be famous, and your parents and grandparents will have something to hang on their fridge.

Run for Her: A new generation of awareness

You might think that getting up at 5 a.m. on a Sunday in November would be an impossible feat for a teenager, but when I arrived to volunteer at the second annual Run for Her 5K/3K Friendship Walk/Run for ovarian cancer awareness and research, I was surprised by the number of kids who came out for such a wonderful cause.

As the participants started arriving, there was such a sense of community. People of all ages came out in support of this cause, and the overall mood of the morning was inspiring. I was amazed at how a seemingly morbid topic could bring out so much joy in a large number of people.

Run for Her was started by a woman named Kelli Sargent as a graduate school project to honor her mother, Nanci, an ovarian cancer survivor. It is designed to raise money for ovarian cancer research, and is sponsored by Cedars-Sinai’s Women’s Cancer Research Institute in Los Angeles.

I volunteered to help that day, because I had never really heard of a fundraiser for ovarian cancer, and I wanted to learn more about the disease. Also, my mother works at Cedars. I knew that the No. 1 cancer affecting women is breast cancer, and I know that much has been accomplished in trying to find a cure. When I found out about Run for Her, and that it was geared toward a lesser-known women’s cancer, I wanted to help.

As soon as I arrived at the race, the volunteer supervisor sent me to staff the start/finish line. My job was to collect the bib tags off of every runner who wanted to be timed. I had to string them together in numerical order as they passed the finish line, and run them to the registration tent to be tallied.

When I was first given this job, I was intimidated because it has a lot of responsibility. But it was also comforting, because the other volunteers were just as enthusiastic and supportive as the runners themselves.

Being given such a significant task made me feel like I was really doing something crucial for the cause. When the race started I was even asked to hold the finish line tape for the first timed male and female runners to complete the race. As I stood there tightly holding one end of the banner, there was an amazing sense of anticipation and excitement when we were notified that the winner was coming.

The excitement didn’t end when the race was over, either. After the race, there was a party celebrating the runners and the Sargent family for all of their hard work and dedication. During the reception, the amount of money that the runners raised was announced. The final number was astounding, more than $300,000, and the total has reached more than $400,000 with additions afterward.

I was shocked that an event could bring in such a large sum of money in only its second year. It really gave me hope that more people would become aware of the threat that ovarian cancer causes to women. The number of kids and teenagers my age at the event also reassured me that we will make sure that even more awareness is raised in the future, so that one day we will have the tools we need to completely eradicate this disease.

For more information, visit at Jump start Summer at Winter Expo; More help picking a Jewish summer camp