Second annual Sam’s Run Saturday

Outlook staff writer
Photo courtesy of StepIn. Runners are shown at the first annual Sam’s Run in Laurel from last year.

Last year, Sam’s Run organizers were hoping for 200 runners in the inaugural 5K run and were thrilled when 800 people registered, and 780 ran and walked the course. 

Co-organizer Amy Caldeira said, “The timing company said it was the second biggest running event in the area last year, behind the Thanksgiving Turkey Trot in Billings.”

As of Tuesday morning, 600 runners were registered for this Saturday’s 2nd Annual Sam’s Run and Laurel’s Dynamic Designs reported they had made 900 t-shirts.

The 5K run through Laurel is organized by Step In and the Sam Meling Foundation, with the aim of saving lives and raising awareness of mental health and suicide prevention. 

Sam’s Run is named in memory of middle school student, Sam Meling, who lost his battle with mental illness in 2015. 

“SAM” is an acronym for Suicide prevention and Awareness of Mental illness, and Step In’s mission statement reads:

Our mission is to provide a readily available, comprehensive inventory of resources for youth in our community to combat suicide through prevention and awareness of mental illness. 

The “Step In” slogan means: 

Step In...where you see unkindness.

Step In...when you see someone hurting themselves.

Step In...when you or someone you know is suffering from anxiety, depression or any other mental illness.

Step In...when someone says they are going to kill themselves. 

Debi Meling, mother of Sam, and Greg Payton of the Rock Church founded Step In and used some of the revenue from last years race to start a texting reporting system so students could report concerns.

They also started a voucher program for mental health counseling for approved Yellowstone County counselors.

Caldeira said the voucher system will be important because cost can be a “barrier to students receiving mental health services.”

Last year’s run benefited the foundations, “but this year we are focusing on awareness. We didn’t ask for sponsorship but [individuals and businesses] kept calling to offer,” Caldeira said.

The kids run begins at 7:45 a.m. and Sam’s Run starts at 8 a.m. at the Laurel Sports Complex.

There is a competition at the race between all fall sports teams in Laurel. Whichever sport has highest attendance of coaches, managers and players claims a traveling trophy. Last year the girls soccer team won with one hundred percent attendance.


Other event news:

• Trophies for the overall winners and medals for all age group winners 

• Community pancake breakfast and silent auction from 8-10 a.m.

• Mo Cones will supply coupons for all participants in the kids run.

• 106.7 radio will be broadcasting onsite and local kids will be singing the national anthem. 

• Step In resources and plans to address mental illness in the community will be available.

• Registered participants can pick up their packets at the Rock Church tomorrow (Friday) from 4-7 p.m, at 820 W 9th St in Laurel. 

Anyone interested in participating can go to or (search “Sam’s 5K Run”), or sign up in person Saturday morning.


Upcoming Events

Tuesday, July 16, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
10 a.m., Laurel Public Library, 720 West Third Street, Laurel, 628-4961
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
Every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m., check for more info. Find them on Facebook . Email them to find out meeting time and to join: The club will have a meeting or volunteer activity. Meeting location is Sid's East Side Bar & Grill on first and third Wednesdays of each month. Members and guests eat free.  Volunteer activity on the second Wednesday of each month. Check their facebook page for updates.  Every fourth Wednesday is for a club social activity. 
Saturday, July 20, 2019
Third Saturdays, 1 p.m., The Crossings, 600 Roundhouse Dr.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Tuesdays, Noon, Beartooth Grill, 305 1st Ave. S.
Tuesday, July 23, 2019
Fourth Tuesdays, 7 p.m., Eagles Hall, 313 W. Main, 628-4503


Are you going to go cheer on the Dodgers at the Eastern A District tournament in Laurel?

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