Tue. Jan 18th, 2022

On Sunday, Nov. 1, Bringing Hope Home will host its second annual “West Chester University STOMPS Cancer” Halloween 5k and 2.5k family run and fun walk. This event will revolve around the Ehinger Gym, as well as North campus of West Chester University.

Based out of the Philadelphia area, Bringing Hope Home is a nonprofit organization that works to donate to and support local families that are battling cancer.

The WCU chapter’s mission is to provide unexpected amazingness to local families with cancer through financial and emotional support. This year, they are supporting a local family at WCU.

Megan Hess, President of the WCU Bringing Hope Home chapter, explained, “Our chapter is about expanding upon the unexpected amazingness that is Bringing Hope Home.”

She continued, “It is about involving students, faculty, and our local community in being lights of hope to families in our neighborhoods who need support during their cancer battles. It is about paying their essential household bills so they can focus on getting better, but it is also about supporting their emotional needs by giving them a group of people who care.”

BHH fundraising chair Ashley Shirk clarified their “#unexpectedamazingness” slogan.

“[We] reach out to families that have been nominated by social workers so they do not always know who BHH is and what we do,” said Shirk.

She concluded that when they reach out to people that have been diagnosed and tell them that they want to help, it is “quite unexpected and really amazing.”

Like their organization name suggests, they reach out in order to bring hope back to the homes of those who are struggling.

Christian Fetterhoff, a member of BHH, pointed out that “[tasks] like driving and paying rent suddenly become overbearingly difficult tasks to do, because of the hardships that cancer brings upon families.”

On race day, registration opens at 10:30 a.m., and the race begins at 12:00 p.m. The route will loop throughout the WCU campus, and prizes will be awarded for the fastest male and female run times.

Prizes will also be awarded to runners that come in Halloween costumes, which is what is special about this event.

“We highly encourage all participants to come in costume,” said Hess. “You will be able to enter the Costume Contest for funniest, scariest, or most creative costume.”

There will be plenty of other activities to take part in, including pre-race Zumba, post-race yoga, free food, games, raffles, a bone marrow registry drive, speakers with a live DJ, and more.

Additionally, runners can sign up as teams, thus entering to win the first WCU STOMPS Cancer 5k Top Fundraising Team Award.

Teams can set fundraising goals, forward their pages via social media and email, and encourage more participation. Likewise, the teams with the best team costume will receive the WCU STOMPS Cancer Team Spirit Award.

Dave Pyle, a member of BHH, is especially excited for the team fundraising.

“It’s no secret that there’s power in numbers,” said Pyle. “One person can make a difference, but with a team or a group of people dedicated to the same purpose, nothing is impossible. So much can be accomplished.”

It is $25 to sign up for either the walk or run. However, there is an early bird special and those that sign up by Monday, Oct. 19 get $5 off, and a sizing option guarantee for the custom designed dry-fit running shirt with a unique logo.

Pyle added that “the shirts are awesome and super comfortable.”

Those interested are able to sign up online at http://www.runccrs.com/event/wcu-stomps-cancer/.

With the variety of events and fundraisers that Bringing Hope Home hosts, the West Chester University STOMPS Cancer Halloween 5k and 2.5k is one of the biggest fundraisers. Last year was its debut as an event, and they raised almost $2,000 that directly supported local families battling cancer.

WCU’s Hope Squad highly anticipates the turnout for their second Halloween 5k and has been very busy preparing for the event.

“A lot of behind the scenes work and planning has been going on. [The closer] we get to the race, we gain more and more sign ups, donations, sponsors, etc.,” said BHH public relations co-chair Casey Monaghan. “I am very excited. The fact that we will be helping a West Chester student’s family just makes it that much more special.”

As the president of BHH, Hess is most looking forward to be offering the bone marrow registry drive, which will give people who are not on the registry an opportunity to save the life of someone battling cancer.

“[The registry] is in honor of my dear friend Kevin McGuire, who attended WCU last year, founded the BHH WCU Chapter, and survived cancer twice due to a lifesaving bone marrow transplant from his brother,” said Hess.

Members of BHH also expressed their love for their organization.

“[BHH] is filled with the most amazing and inspiring people I have ever met, constantly encouraging me to be a better person,” said BHH member Connor Cataldo. “I am beyond happy to be a part of the Bringing Hope Home family.”

Pyle agreed and said, “There is a strong sense of family and togetherness in this group. The friendships I’ve established and developed through BHH have made an incredible impact on the way I think of the world.”

The Bringing Hope Home WCU chapter started this journey with a few close friends and a 5K. Today, they have over 100 active members and a goal of 300 runners at their second annual WCU STOMPS Cancer Halloween 5k and 2.5k Fun Walk.

For those interested in joining BHH in their mission to “STOMP” out cancer, they currently meet weekly on Mondays at 8:30 p.m. in Merion 112.

Anyone with further questions can contact the chapter’s president, Megan Hess, at MH786551@wcupa.edu, or their correspondent with The Quad, Aidan Paggao, at AP814179@wcupa.edu.

Aidan Paggao is a third-year student majoring in marketing with a minor in international business. He can be reached at AP814179@wcupa.edu.

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