Author: Noel Hemphill
Fresh off the successful event Pandemic, the Occidental Programming Board kept the momentum going with a 5K run this past Sunday. The 5K is a new kind of event for the Board: it is a charitable run benefiting the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Programming Board Manager Redd Barua-Norton (senior) and event planner Keane Tarrosa (sophomore) started working on the run at the beginning of the year. Initially, the idea was to have an on-campus 5K run to lure students out of their studies and get active. The charitable benefit was added later in the planning process.
“We wanted to put [on] an event about fitness,” Tarrosa said. “Sometimes Occidental is kind of lethargic, and we figured making it about charity would be the best way to get people going. It isn’t a competitive thing, it’s just to get people active.”
The course of the 5K race was entirely on campus, and all levels of walkers and runners were encouraged to participate. Starting with a lap around Bill Henry track, the course then wound through the quad, up toward the Greek Bowl, downhill past Stewie Hall and Rangeview, then down back to the track again. Two laps of this path completed the 3.1 mile run. Making a course on campus that was long enough and dealt with the many hills and facilities roads was the hardest part of planning, according to Tarrosa.
Participants paid five dollars to compete, and all the proceeds went to Make-A-Wish. The foundation gives children with life-threatening diseases their dream wish, from meeting a celebrity to taking a trip to Disneyland. The Programming Board felt helping the organization would be a great fit.
“They do really great work, and we are very happy to support them,” Barua-Norton said.
The Board set no specific fundraising goals but suspected at least $100 would be raised. Students and alumni could join this year’s run, but the Board hopes that even more of the Occidental community could participate in the future.
Students who participated also had high hopes that the event would continue in coming years.
“I really hope it becomes a tradition, and that more people come out for it,” Lillian Krovoza (sophomore) said. ”It was nice to be able to run with friends and for a cause. I’m thinking costumes would be a fun thing to add to the mix!”
Donations are accepted upon registration and could be charged to student accounts. Water was provided for all the participants throughout the hilly course. People who consider themselves unathletic could still donate without having to partake in the running. However, Tarrosa had a message to the entire student body considering avoiding the Sunday morning run.
“It’s for charity, so there’s no reason not to [participate],” Tarrosa said.
The Board will be continuing their charitable work through November with a student fashion show. The formal event will feature student models walking the catwalk as well as a silent auction and free gifts for attendees. Donations from the $10 admission will go towards Great Strides, an Occidental organization that supports local Eagle Rock kids to stay active and healthy.
copyedited by Jane Ha
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