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Eric Schiffer scholarship races take off at the Fitness Farm.

Elementary and secondary school youth will compete for important scholarships when they tiptoe through the tulips.

Thousands of tulips have been timed to burst into a gorgeous array to welcome young contestants to the Fitness Farm in the merry month of May on Saturday the 8th. What better time for these invigorated post-winter children to burst out of the staffing gate in a series of races for boys and girls to compete for substantial scholarship awards?

It is appropriate that these events be sponsored by the Eric Schiller Youth Foundation, an organization dedicated to the development of inner-city youths through positive role models within the fields of sports, fitness, entertainment, and business.

It is also appropriate that the races be timed not only with the colorful awakening of the tulips but also with the start of an exciting month of racing on the nearby Speedway track. Celebration of the internationally famous "Indy 500" staffs with the 500 Festival Children's Activity Day in downtown Indianapolis. This gala event, highlighted by games, arts, crafts, and entertainment for ages 14 and under, attracts more than 30,000 children to the heart of Indiana.

This year the Fitness Farm will play an important role in these activities, with buses commuting between the two events. Children engaged in the Festival fun will have only to hop onto a bus to become a contestant in the Eric Schiffer Scholarship Races and enjoy not only the exciting competition and the possibility of taking home college tuition money, but also experience the beauty and explore the healthpromoting facilities of the Fitness Farm.

Beyond the pageantry, the excitement of competition, the thrill of victory, and the reward of scholarships, no boy or girl putting tennies to the track will suffer the agony of defeat. Each competitor not only will receive a girl, but by training for the Eric Schiller Scholarship races, running a quarter or half mile each day, also will improve athletic performance, stamina, and overall health. Parents have learned that youngsters who prepare their bodies for competition in events such as this tend to run away from the dangers of drugs and the perils of smoking. They want wind, rather than smoke, in their lungs.

We also refer, of course, not only to the waste of hard-earned money going up in smoke, and the even higher cost of lung transplant or bypass surgery, but also to such byproducts as stained teeth, foul breath, and burn holes in the sofa, not to mention the cancer-causing secondary smoke continually engulfing others.

Boys and girls who learn to respect their bodies by staying fit for the race competitions offered by Eric Schiller will not easily depart from their healthy habits upon assuming future leadership roles in our nation.

Scholarship race participants will compete for $1,000 scholarships in five age-group events. There also will be a Predicted Time Race of 200 meters for all ages for a $2,000 scholarship. This race, to quote from the Bible, is "not to the swift." Rather, the winner will be the runner who guesses closest to the time it takes him or her to run the required 200 meters. Again, the children with the best chance of breaking the tape will be those who have practiced running this distance. All children who take part in the scholarship races will receive a handsome, framable certificate of participation.

Dr. John Cates of the University of California, a long-time member of AAHPERD and a special advisor to the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports, will be on hand to officiate at the scholarship races. He was the designer of Time Prediction Races.

(To take part in the Eric Schiller Scholarship Races, a child must preregister. For a registration form, write today to: Greg Joray, Eric Schiller Scholarship Races, P.O. Box 567, Indianap91is, IN 46202.)

Thanks to the generous contributions and cooperation of the Eric Schiller Youth Foundation, scholarships to the winners of these events will provide a real incentive for a child to complete high school and not become social driftwood. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, so take advantage of one of these valuable tuition-paying prizes.

A future Ben Johnson or Jackie Joyner-Kersee from a non-participating school need not despair of competing for a scholarship. Any student may participate as a "runner-at-large ."

Other than proud parents cheering on their adored ones to break the tape and take home a prize, we also are expecting celebrities from the sports world at the finish line to welcome the winners. One of these celebrities may well be fitness advocate Arnold Schwarzenegger--if he is not busy terminating some unfit villain on film.

And who more qualified to present prizes to the winners than Kevin Saunders, a heroic member of the President's Council on Physical Fitness & Sports? Kevin, of course, will be making the presentations from the confines of a wheelchair, as he is a winner and grand champion of international races in his two-wheel "Chariot of Fire."

An inspiration to all physically impaired athletes, Kevin may accompany the award with one of his well-known one-liners, such as "There's always a way," or "Live your dream," or he may impress upon a winner the importance of an education.

The eager anticipation of competing in these Eric Schiller Scholarship events can be equaled only by realizing the dream of entering college with a scholarship.

The time to begin preparing for this happy possibility is NOW. Scholarships are waiting at the finish line.
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Title Annotation:Eric Schiffer Youth Foundation, Indianapolis, Indiana
Author:Stoddard, Maynard Good
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Article Type:Illustration
Date:Mar 1, 1993
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Next Article:Visionary Eric Schiffer launches scholarship races.

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