Miss A Columnist

Crystal Zhao is larger-than-life. She has lived in three countries and three states, but easily considers herself a Texan at heart. A former Austin contributor, Crystal graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (hook ‘em!) with degrees in Government and Communication Studies and a minor in Rhetoric & Writing. She is learning to be a Washingtonian with her fellow Texans in D.C. and as a new addition to the Junior League of Washington. Crystal currently works on Capitol Hill.

In addition to pursuing a life of public policy, Crystal also makes sure to set aside time to do what she loves - exploring and sharing. She’s always after something new in the blogosphere, local food and drink, and fitness activities. Believing that each moment in life has a unique lesson to teach, Crystal loves pursuing new experiences and getting to know people from all walks of life. She loves writing so that she can share knowledge with and encourage others to pursue more opportunities to learn as well. Her favorite way of life is, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, learn as if you were to live forever.”

Recap: 5th Annual Lights of Love 5K In Austin

There was more care and friendship at the 5th Annual Lights of Love 5K than any other run I’ve participated in and witnessed in the past. Over 3,500 family and friends participated in 125 teams, having raised a record amount of almost $245,000.

(Photo Credit: RMHC Austin)

The Lights of Love 5K is very special and very unique from your typical early morning charity run. The Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) of Austin and Central Texas hosted this year’s event this past Friday’s evening, December 7, along a trail full of sparkling holiday lights, Christmas bells and carolers at Mueller Hangar. It might have been because of the magical atmosphere that this run seemed to connect people (and the 100 dogs who also participated!) more so than any other. Many of the runners were registered in teams and the presence of camaraderie was very strong. And when you weren’t running on the trail with your family and friends, you were enjoying each other’s company with delicious snacks, hot chocolate, kids’ crafts, music, and even photos with Santa Claus and Ronald McDonald!

(Photo Credit: RMHC Austin)

Ann Jerome, the chief operating officer at RMHC Austin, is very thankful for everyone’s support and participation because the funds raised will go to the services that RMHC provides for families of children who spend time in Austin hospitals. “We are blown away by the turnout this year and blessed to live in a city that continues to support our mission here at the Ronald McDonald House and Family Rooms, ” she says. “Ronald McDonald House Charities of Austin and Central Texas depends on the generosity of our supporters, and the impact of the money raised at this event will make a huge difference for families with hospitalized children.”

If you missed out on this festive charity event but would still like to contribute to the RMHC cause, you still have until this Saturday, December 15, 2012 to do so. Click here to donate.

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