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Pawnee Valley fundraiser will buy football helmets
Larned High School will benefit
paw jm pawnee valley run
Courtesy Photo Some of the top finishers in the Pawnee Valley Medical Campus Benefit Fun Run/Walk gather for a photo. It was sponsored by the Pawnee Valley Medical Associates and Pawnee Valley Sport & Spine Physical Therapy. The race raised $8,000 that will buy 40 Riddell football helmets.

LARNED — Thanks to a fundraiser sponsored by the Pawnee Valley Medical Associates and Pawnee Valley Sport & Spine Physical Therapy, the Larned school district will be able to buy new football helmets.
The Pawnee Valley Medical Campus Benefit Fun Run/Walk raised $7,100 to be donated to the Fort Larned USD 495 athletic fund to purchase new football helmets for the Larned High School Indians. $8,000 is needed to purchase 40 new helmets.
On race day Matt Heyn, Pawnee Valley Community Hospital administrator, announced that Hays Medical Center will donate the rest of the funds so the $8,000 goal was reached.
Jon Flint, Fort Larned superintendent, appreciated the fundraiser, especially with reduced state funding. He said the partnership with Pawnee Valley entities and the Hays Medical Center is a good business relationship.
“We felt comfortable with the equipment we had and there was a plan to place to replace several helmets every year,” he said. “Now, we’re assured of buying new football helmets for every student. I’m proud of how supportive our community is. They’ve always stepped up and that’s why we’ve raised our family here.”
Under the direction of Dr. David Sanger, Pawnee Valley Sport & Spine staff provide sports medicine services for the LHS football team. Luke Geer serves as a physical therapist and rehab manager working with outpatient and inpatient physical therapy.
“They took it upon themselves to help us out and Luke Geer helped organize the run,” Flint said. “Now, this will allow us to help our middle school football program too.”
Luke Geer said football helmets must pass a safety inspection each year, but newer helmets simply provide better protection. Geer said there were nine reported incidents of concussions in 2010 at Larned High.   
The Riddell helmets, used in the NFL, cost $200 apiece, costs $8,000 for 40 helmets.
Geer conducts an annual safety meeting with Larned High coaches, including identifying what to look for in possible concussions.
There were 33 participants in the 1-mile race and 53 participants in the 5K race. The top times for the 5K are as followed:
“We appreciated all the sponsors and volunteers,” Luke Geer said. “Without their support this event would not have been possible. We hope we see you again next year.”
Top 5K finishers
Top Overall Male—Jim Smith 20:13
Top Overall Female—Raven Nusser 21:44
Female Ages 8-14 — Emily Hammond 25:58; Jessica Shelton 31:34; Nichole Dipman 31:34   
Male Ages 8-14 — Kolby Keith 24:08; Caleb Nord 29:36; Alex Sanger 29:47
Female Ages 15-19 — Lindsey Higgins 26:22; Corrine Quick 30:16; Alex Lessard 30:16
Female Ages 20-29 — Kristi Steinert 30:06; Chelsea Bieberle 37:03; Melinda Heyn 39:01
Female Ages 30-39 — Amy Blackburn 31:32; Beth Pinkston 31:36; Kristin Watkins 31:57
Male Ages 30-39 — Luke Geer 24:38; Matt Heyn 28:59; Joseph Edison 35:20   
Female 40-49 — Marcy Wagner 24:06; Leisa Dipman 29:16; Sharon Lessard 39:08
Male Ages 40–49 — Rusty Hammond 27:09; David Sanger 33:16
Female Ages 50-59 — Brenda Reed 46:01; Debra Rainbolt 46:34; Tama Hanson 51:05
Female 60 and over — Sherry Lemuz 51:05; Marilyn Bell 61:02; Lois Fox Felkel 61:08
Male 60 and over — Bob Hueter 23:06; James Forrest 25:27; Bill Fitzgerald 32:31