embe Sioux Falls running club Girls on the Run 9th Street Designs
Shon Roti with friends and members of Embe in a photo taken to showcase the running buffs on social media. (Image courtesy Shon Roti)

A&E Exclusive: 9th Street Designs Donates Running Buffs to National Running Organization


9th Street Designs, the company owned by Shon Roti, contributing writer to A&E, donated 1,000 running buffs to Girls on the Run in coordination with the Sioux Falls Running Club. The running buffs will be put to use at the next Girls on the Run 5K event in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

“Although not much of a runner myself, I do know many who are,” says Roti. “In fact, I think Sioux Falls has an extraordinarily large number of runners for a city that spends much of its days under a blanket of snow and cold.” 

According to Roti, he has worked with the Sioux Falls Running Club for almost a year, providing custom designs for flyers, posters, T-shirts, and drinkware. Initially, a member of the club asked him to provide a custom design for running buffs. “This running swag was going to be handed out at one of the many running events in or near Sioux Falls in 2019,” says Roti. 

With directions to include a hint of the map of the running/bike trail for Sioux Falls on it and to avoid looking like clipart, Roti explains he and the running club were on the same page. Roti digitized the design after hand-drawing some map-like designs. He picked colors and design elements that he used on flyers designed a month prior for this same event in order to maintain continuity. 

Due to his own haste and slight miscommunication, the logo for the running buffs was oriented incorrectly, Roti remarks; although the colors and overall design were well received, the logo needed to be moved and buffs reordered.

“What does one do with a 1,000 extra running buffs?” says Roti. “Instead of immediately sending them to the recycler, they sat in my basement for about a month while I noodled this problem.”

When he verbalized the problem to a friend who is a runner, the acquaintance mentioned donating the buffs to Girls on the Run. Once he made the decision to donate the buffs, Roti set a date to deliver the buffs with one of the club members and administrative staff of Embe, the Sioux Falls-based organization that oversees Girls on the Run, that also happened to be a long-time friend of Roti. 

“Any organization that helps young people develop good exercise habits and fosters a healthy lifestyle is a worthy cause,” Roti states. “Their mission is to empower young girls, develop confidence, compassion, experience diversity, foster responsibility and optimism. As the father of an 8-year-old daughter, I understand this mission. Its goals are the same goals I want for my daughter.”

For more information about the organization, visit www.embe.org/program/girls-on-the-run/.

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