Five Putnam County High School girls planned to attend the Breakaway Teen Camp at Lake Williamson in Carlinville this summer.
That, unfortunately, was canceled by the coronavirus pandemic.
In the place of camp week, the girls decided to run to raise money for missions and help spread the Gospel, coinciding with the nationwide unconventional giving-day that youth ministries are doing.
The girls ran 24 miles in 24 hours while raising donations for missions. Their goal was to raise $1,000 with the money going toward getting clean water in Africa, the girls said.
The group was made up Gracie Cuicci, McKinley Cwikla, Molly Roach, Lauren Faletti and Erin Brooker, all sophomores and juniors at PC, who are all members of the youth group of the People Church in Princeton.
“We want to raise money to meet people where they are and help lead them to Jesus. We want to make Heaven crowded,” Cuicci said.
On their Facebook promo video, Falletti said, “We realized Jesus is enough, and we don’t need the camp environment, even though it is awesome. We need to focus on Jesus in our hometown this year,
To accomplishment their mission, the girls each ran one mile at the top of each hour starting at 8 p.m. Monday, June 30, through 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 1 — 24 miles in 24 hours.
They tried to sneak in a couple short naps along the course of their adventure.
“Yeah, we are exhausted,” Cuicci said before heading out for their 5 p.m. run Tuesday. “We all got about two hours sleep between all the running.”
Their lack of sleep was all worth it, as the girls smashed their goal of $1,000 by more than $2,000 with more donations coming in Wednesday.