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National group honors student for organizing charity walk

Good for you | Nova Beall

Bailey Monarch, 18, was chosen as Volunteer of the Year by the National Eating Disorders Association for organizing the first Tampa Bay NEDA 5K Walk held earlier this year at Al Lopez Park in Tampa. More than 350 walkers participated in the spring event, raising about $33,600. She was honored in October at NEDA's national conference in Los Angeles.

To date, it was the largest NEDA walk coordinated by a volunteer, and not the organization itself.

Bailey was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa two years ago and underwent treatment in California. As part of her recovery, she wanted to raise awareness of eating disorders and started planning the national organization's first benefit walk in Florida.

"I wanted to participate in a NEDA walk, but none were in the area, so I coordinated one," Bailey said in 2009, while still a student at East Lake High in Tarpon Springs. "Every day at school, I see people who are suffering. The walk is my way of telling people that eating disorders are a serious problem, an epidemic."

Her campaign, "It's Time to Talk About It, It's Time to Walk About It," included letters, emails, phone calls, door-to-door solicitations, speaking engagements, and even a smoothie fundraiser at school.

As a state and national advocate in the fight against eating disorders, she went to Tallahassee as part of a group to support House Bill 7/Senate Bill 182, the Coverage for Mental and Nervous Disorders Act, which included eating disorder treatments. She also traveled to Washington to support the Federal Response to Eliminate Eating Disorders, or FREED, Act of 2009. It addresses costs that people with eating disorders face when attempting to get treatment as well as research and education for medical professionals.

Bailey, now a freshman at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, has control of her own eating decisions and eats when she's hungry and stops when she's full. Her recovery also allowed her to return to a lifelong love of ballet dancing.

By coordinating the second annual NEDA Walk planned for Feb. 25, Bailey hopes to not only raise money for eating disorder treatment and research, but also to continue to unite the community and raise awareness of the disease and treatment options.

• • •

Clearwater Central Catholic High and alumnus Katherine Jones of the Katherine Jones Insurance Agency of Clearwater have partnered to recognize outstanding CCC students with the State Farm Students and Student-athletes of the Month awards.

Students who receive the award demonstrate leadership, dedication and hard work in the classroom, on the playing field, in extracurricular activities and in the community. CCC and State Farm congratulate Michael Purcell and Rachel Sticco, State Farm Students of the Month for August and September respectively, and Ryan Orr and Kaitlin Englert, State Farm Student-athletes of the Month for August and September respectively.

Senior Michael Purcell is an honor student with a 4.5 GPA. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society and the Quill & Scroll Society. He is also Student Executive Council President, editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, Secretary General of Model UN and a member of the CCC Ambassadors Leadership Team.

Senior Rachel Sticco is an honor student in the International Baccalaureate Program. She is a member of Mu Alpha Theta Math Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, the International Thespian Society, CCC Student Ambassadors, student council, the Academic Team and drama club. A competitive ice skater, Rachel earned two gold, three silver and one bronze medal at last year's Ice Skating Institute's 50th anniversary Championship. She plans to study business administration, management and accounting in college.

Junior Ryan Orr is an honor student with a 4.0 GPA. He is a member of the CCC varsity boys golf team, for which he has been selected Most Valuable Player each of his three years. Ryan recently qualified to compete in the state championships and has won many local and regional tournaments. He said he wants to play golf in college, where he will study business and agronomics.

Junior Kaitlin Englert is an honor student in the International Baccalaureate Program with a 4.1 GPA. She is a member of the National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, CCC Ambassadors Leadership Team, Key Club and is a Hospice volunteer. In addition to competing on CCC's varsity cross country, soccer and track teams, where she's captain, Kaitlin also coaches a special needs soccer team.

National group honors student for organizing charity walk 12/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 7:50pm]
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