On Sunday, Oct. 11th as a conclusion of the Fall Family Festival at the University campus, Saint Leo hosted a charity event. About 50 people finished a 5K long race to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation.
Similarly to last year’s Breast Cancer Awareness 5K walk/race, this fall, Saint Leo University hosted Walk for Wishes 5K. The event was organized by the Student Government Union, the Campus Activities Board, and Saint Leo Athletics.
About 50 people, including students and their families as well as the local community, had decided to take part in the event. Everybody who wanted to participate in the race had to pay a fee of 5 dollars. Nevertheless, all the money that was collected during the event will be donated to the Make a Wish Foundation. As a reward for the donation, each participant received a dry-fit T-shirt, water bottle, bag, and Eos lip balm.
“Each year our main focus is to raise money for the Make a Wish Foundation, and we have already granted a few wishes here at Saint Leo,” said the Assistant Athletic Director, Erin Mykleby who was a participant of the race as well. “Last year SGU and CAB hosted the Breast Cancer Awareness 5K. This year, Saint Leo Athletics and CAB decided to unify and support one organization together,” added Mykleby.
The race started at the Student Community Center Bowl at 11:30 a.m., and the course was lead through the university’s campus. The participants were provided with water on the course as well as refreshments at the finish line.
Since the main goal of the event was not competition but donating money to the Make a Wish, many people walked the course. Nevertheless, the event’s organizers had decided to reward the top three finishers with medals. The top runners, Rafael Lohner, Joseph Carney, and Madison Ozog, crossed the finish line respectively.
“It was a really nice course, and a great opportunity to see the Saint Leo campus again. It looks great, and I had a lot of fun during the race,” said a former Saint Leo Cross Country team member and the winner of the race, Rafael Lohner.
“What I love about the event is that I can help somebody else while doing what I like. I love running, and I am happy that I have the opportunity to help the Make a Wish Foundation through this sport. In my opinion, the foundation does a lot of good work, so it is enjoyable to support the organization,” added Rafael.
Not only had the participants of the race supported the Make a Wish last Sunday. In fact, many volunteers who had decided to sacrifice their time that morning had an impact on the event. The volunteers helped with the registration process as well as with organization during the race. They would give the runners water during the race, and provide them with directions on the course.
All the support for the Make a Wish Foundation will allow the organization to grant another wish to a child who has a life-threating medical condition. Saint Leo has been supporting the organization since 2003 when the NCAA Division II and the Make a Wish Foundation alliance was established. By organizing events like the Walk for Wishes 5K, Saint Leo continues to help the foundation sponsor children’s wishes.
Everybody who could not take part in the race last Sunday will have another opportunity to run with others on Oct.17th during the San Antonio Rattlesnake Festival and Run. The event includes 1-mile as well as 5-mile run. Additionally, the runners might take part in a team competition or a runner-dog race.
The event is not associated with the Make a Wish Foundation. Nevertheless, it is an opportunity from everybody in the local community to run with each other. Therefore, everybody who missed the race organized by Saint Leo University will have another chance to compete. The races will start at 8 a.m. and 8:10 a.m.