RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — Local teens spent their Saturday morning helping raise money to give children with critical illnesses a chance to smile.

At a local Raleigh soccer park, students from five high schools wore their white attire and set off on a 5k run/walk.

They were on a mission.

“We’re doing a color run for charity. All of us have come out here, trying to make a difference,” said runner Cole Corbin. 

The “Running Outside the Lines Color Run” was more than just a Saturday activity for these stduents.

“It makes me feel good to just like help out,” said another runner, Cole Quinlin.

The event was initially started by Connor Kitson as a school project.

Now, four years later, it’s a major fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Eastern North Carolina. 

Even though Kitson has graduated and is in college, he still passionate about helping the foundation. 

“The first year we had 120 participants. This year we have 250 and we’ve raised over $16,000 which will go to granting two wishes in the Triangle area,” he explained.

At the finish line, a burst of color is thrown on the runners, a sign they’re bring some brightness to every child who needs it the most.

“Make-A-Wish is a special charity,” said Kitson. “They’re different than most others because you can see the direct impact it has on a family.”