by Diane VanDyke
Students in Montgomery County Community College’s Introduction to Exercise Science and Wellness (ESW 102) classes raised approximately $875 for Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation for Childhood Cancer by hosting a Run 5 Save Lives! 5K run/1-mile fun walk in April at the College’s Central Campus, Blue Bell.
Sixty-eight participants—including community members, faculty, staff and students—participated in the 5K run/1-mile walk organized by 54 students under direction of ESW Assistant Professor Dr. Anne Livezey and Instructor Amanda Wooldridge, co-coordinators of the ESW program.
“The classes host a dodge ball tournament during the fall semester and a 5K run and walk during the spring as our service learning projects,” Livezey said, noting that the dodge ball tournament is more focused on student participation, whereas the run/walk targets all areas of the College. Faculty and staff also may count the walk/run as part of the employee wellness program.
Sporting tie-dyed shirts, the students registered the runners and walkers, sold baked goods and other items and cheered on the runners throughout the race around the campus grounds. The students planned, organized and promoted the event by creating promotional flyers and a video. They also reached out to local businesses for support, and Wawa of Blue Bell donated lemonade and iced tea for the festivities.
As a prelude to the 5K and walk, children from the College’s Children’s Center ran their own fun run around the quadrangle in the center of campus. ESW students work with the children on a weekly basis to teach them different physical activities and the importance of exercise as part of a healthy lifestyle.
The overall winner of the run was Assistant Professor of Economics Jill Beccaris-Pescatore. A seasoned runner, she competed in the Boston Marathon last month for the second time, finishing with her best time of 3 hours and 51 minutes.
In addition to raising money for Alex’s Lemonade, the event provided students with a feeling of accomplishment.
“Everyone had a great time, and it was nice to see the community come out to support the cause. I was excited to see how well the students took to the event, and it created a sense of community on the campus that I believe everyone benefitted from and enjoyed,” said student David J. Franco.
The students’ Run 5 Save Lives! event is one of the College’s 50 Acts of Kindness as part of the College’s 50th anniversary celebration. Throughout 2014, students, faculty, staff, alumni and supporters are committed to organizing 50 acts of community service—one for every year of the College’s existence. To learn more at the College’s 50th anniversary activities, visit mc3.edu/50.
Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation was started by cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott in 2000 when she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for children with cancer. Since Alex created that first stand, the Foundation has grown into a national fundraising initiative to support research and help children with cancer.