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Lambert runner holds benefit for sea turtles
Race set for Saturday
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Forsyth County News

If you go

* What:
Turtle Trot 5K

* When: 8:30 a.m. Saturday

* Where: Totally Running, 405 Peachtree Parkway

* Online: Search “Turtle Trot” at www.active.com

Cassie Beato plans to run as fast as she can for a slow friend on Saturday.

The Turtle Trot 5K this weekend will benefit a sea turtle named Salty at the Tybee Island Marine Science Center.

Beato, a junior at Lambert High School, organized the run to raise money for medicine for Salty, who has toxins in his body. Any additional proceeds will benefit other sea turtles in the shelter, she said.

Beato came up with the fundraiser when considering a project for her Girl Scout Gold Award, which is comparable to the Eagle rank in Boy Scouts.

She devised the 5K benefit as a way to combine two of her interests.

“I put together my two favorite passions: running, because I run cross country, and marine biology,” Beato said. “That’s what I want to do when I grow up. That’s what I’ve wanted to be since I was 5 years old.”

Her connection to the Tybee Island center came through a Girl Scout trip two years ago.

When she called the center to find out if help was needed, Beato heard Salty’s story.
The run will start and end at Totally Running, making a loop along Peachtree Parkway and Ronald Reagan Boulevard.

Her mother, Lorraine Beato, estimated that about 150 will participate in Saturday’s event, which would give them a profit above the overhead costs to donate to the center.

The mother-daughter team has spent many hours putting together the event.

“I had no idea how much work goes into a 5K,” said Lorraine Beato, adding that her daughter is always donating time to something.

Though the project will no longer be a part of her work toward the Scout award, Cassie Beato said it has been a "great learning experience."

She plans to present the money raised to the Tybee Island center this summer during its benefit run along the beach. She’ll also spend some time volunteering there.

“This is my passion. This is what I live for,” she said.