By Kayla Sosa
Celebrate women and girls at the fifth annual LUNAFEST, a national traveling film festival featuring short films by, for and about women. The event is hosted by Girls on the Run (GOTRKMC) Kent and Muskegon Counties, a running program for young girls with an overarching message of positivity and empowerment. Proceeds will support Chicken & Egg Pictures and the Program Registration Assistance Fund of GOTRKMC.
Participants in GOTR range from third to eighth grade and meet twice a week after school for ten weeks. In addition to running, they also complete a curriculum that focuses on self-confidence, courage and positive self-esteem.
“Running and physical activity is a part of it, but it’s really the vehicle for delivering the messaging,” said Elizabeth McEwen, communications and development coordinator for GOTRKMC “The girls are learning lessons about embracing their authentic selves, finding connections, finding ways to relate to people who may be different.”
With coaches there for support, the girls then take the lead in creating a community impact project.
“They figure out at 8 and 9-years old, that they have the power to impact their community,” McEwen said. “It’s a really huge revelation for them.”
The program culminates to a final celebration and 5K event. GOTRKMC hosts 150 teams at 110 sites (schools, community centers) in Muskegon and Kent counties, totaling about 2,100 girls participating this spring, with more still registering.
LUNAFEST is meant to spread the message of women’s empowerment, bring the community together and raise awareness for GOTR. The event will be held on March 7 in Muskegon and on March 14 in Grand Rapids at Wealthy Theatre. Eight total films will be shown, ranging from three minutes to 20 minutes each. The event will last about an hour and a half, with a brief intermission. Appetizers from El Granjero and cider from Vander Mill will be served. Due to some adult content in the films, anyone 16 and over is encouraged to attend. McEwen said they are expecting more than 100 guests to attend this year’s event.
“Supporting this event is supporting our girls at those early intervention ages,” McEwen said. “Studies show that a girl’s self-confidence peaks in fourth grade. That is the most confident, the most fearless she is going to be. From there on, it’s all self-doubt. That’s why we start at third grade and try to catch them before they hit that cliff.”
Click here for ticket information.
March 7, 2019
5:30 happy hour
360 W. Western Ave, Muskegon,
Tickets – $18,
Cash bar available.
Food from Hearthstone Bistro.
March 14, 2019
5:00 happy hour
1130 Wealthy St SE
Grand Rapids, MI
Tickets – $18 student, $20/1 drink, $25/2 drinks
Vander Mill Cider included with select tickets, food with all tickets.