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story.lead_photo.caption Missouri Girls Town Foundation is holding a virtual 5k fundraiser.

Missouri Girls Town Foundation is holding a virtual 5K, during which participants can get in some exercise while supporting the nonprofit.

The "Covid Crusher" began Saturday, but participants can get their miles in anytime before July 3.

Missouri Girls Town provides care for abused and neglected girls ages 8-21. By the time clients come to Girls Town, many have been through nine failed placements including foster care, other residential centers, hospitalization, relatives or failed adoptions and are in need of a structured living environment.

One of the goals of the fundraiser is to help the nonprofit keep clients safe while social distancing. Proceeds will help stock kitchens in campus houses with cooking and baking supplies.

To help residents keep their distance from one another, Missouri Girls Town switched from serving meals out of a central kitchen to the smaller kitchens in each campus house. These kitchens aren't outfitted for meal preparation.

"Imagine baking for twenty people when all you have is a pan and a pot," development Director Stephanie Vollmer said.

In March, the founation announced the second Girls with Grit 5K, a traditional race, had to be postponed. Other planned fundraisers were also canceled.

To sign up to join the virtual race, visit

Participation costs $30 and runners can complete their 3.1 miles anywhere until the end of the two-week fundraiser, either in pieces or all at once. Participants will earn a medal and a t-shirt. Additional shirts, as well as hoodies and tank tops, can be purchased as well.

"No one is going to keep us down," Vollmer said.

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