On Sunday, Oct. 30 of Halloween weekend, faculty, students, friends and family from all walks of life will be walking and run- ning in the name of battling cancer.
With 150 and counting participants of all ages coming from the greater Philadelphia area, West Chester University is proud to present the university’s third annual “West Chester University STOMPS Cancer Halloween Costume 5K and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk.”
This will be organized and supported by the nonprofit organization Bringing Hope Home (BHH) in tandem with the WCU chapter of BHH.
BHH is based out of Philadelphia and strives to donate to and support local families battling cancer.
WCU chapter’s mission is to provide “unexpected amazingness to local families with cancer, through emotional and financial support.” By reaching out to families that are nominated by social workers, the families do not know at first that they are about to be helped. Reception towards this outreach has always been positive, though unexpected, and quite amazing.
Ashley Shirk, the president of the WCU chapter of BHH, explains, “This 5K is for such an amazing cause and a lot of people are responding well because we have all known someone who has fought cancer—we understand the strength it takes.”
Shirk continues, “It’s truly amazing to see how much our campus wants to help these families going through such a tough time, so they can focus on their health, instead of bills.”
Like the name of the organization suggests, this community outreach is to bring hope to homes which may have started to lose it.
The money raised by STOMP goes directly to local families, according to Casey Monaghan, vice president of the BHH West Chester chapter.
“All of the money raised by our STOMP will help support these families,” she says.
Monaghan concludes, “We are so excited to grow this event for yet another year!”
The first STOMP raised $2,000, while the second STOMP raised $9,000, which was donated to many local families in the area that are battling cancer, in turn easing their emotional and financial burdens.
Dave Pyle, social chair of the BHH WCU chapter, adds, “No one should have to go through something like this alone. Events like this give us the power to give back and make a difference at a very real and personal level.”
With twice the amount of last year’s participants, BHH looks to STOMP out cancer again like never before this Sunday, Oct. 30. Registration and sign-ins for both the 5K and 1 mile Fun Run/Walk opens at 9:30 a.m., with the race itself beginning at 11 a.m. and finishing around 11:45 a.m.
The race begins at Ehinger Gymnasium on 700 S. Church St., and the route loops throughout WCU’s campus. As always, prizes will be awarded to the fastest female and male run times, and to the best Halloween costumes. The costume contest will be awarding winners based on funniest, scariest and most creative costumes.
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.
Planning and running such an event can be difficult at times, according to the BHH WCU chapter president.
“It’s been stressful planning such a large event sometimes,” Shirk says. “It’s been so nice to work with the completely wonderful students involved with BHH WCU. Everyone has played a role and I am completely overwhelmed with the support we have been getting both on campus and in the community!”
BHH treasurer Raul Bazan seconds this notion.
“It’s amazing to see how many kids come out for a good cause,” said Bazan. “We all come together and get to help local families and give them the support they deserve during their tough times.”
According to Monaghan, “a lot of hard work goes into planning the STOMP, but it is worth every second of it! The BHH families are our motivation.”
Registration can be done online at https://runsignup.com/Race/ FindARunner/?raceId=39011 and in-store. The deadline ends on Wednesday, Oct. 26 at 11:59 p.m. There will be free custom long-sleeve micromesh STOMP shirts available for the first 300 participants that sign up. Signing up costs $15.
For inquiries regarding joining the cause, feel free to e-mail Shirk at AS801734@wcupa.edu or BHH’s The Quad correspondent at AP814179@wcupa. edu.
Aidan Paggao is a fourth-year student majoring in marketing with a minor in international business. He can be reached at AP814179@wcupa.edu.