Linda Smith, News Editor
Crusaders for Kids will host its second annual 5K this Saturday, April 20, at 8:30 a.m. Proceeds from the event will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas.
The club usually takes groups of 7-10 people at a time to hospitals to visit children, but co-president Lauren Masty says that this event makes the club “more inclusive,” allowing its 80 or so members—and other students—an opportunity to participate as one group. The club settled on Make-a-Wish during last year’s race preparations.
“As we were wanting to make it geared towards our goal of brightening the lives of sick children in the DFW area, we chose to host the 5k for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of North Texas,” Masty said. “We felt that their mission really complimented ours.”
“I’ve always liked Make-A-Wish Foundation, because I read an article about a four year-old with cancer who wished to meet the pope and had a private audience with Pope John Paul II,” co-president Halley Chavey said. “I loved the idea of UD students working to help grant wishes like that.”
This year, Crusaders for Kids is reaching out to more donors, students and professors, and marketing more. It also hopes to raise $2,000, twice last year’s contributions.
According to the Facebook page, this year’s theme is nerdiness; the first 100 runners will get a nerdy T-shirt designed by Masty. The fastest male and female runners and the person with the nerdiest costume will win prizes, which include gift cards from Joe’s Diner. Gift cards from Tom Thumb, On the Border and other local stores and restaurants are tentative prize options as well.
Students are also encouraged to sponsor runners for the race. These runners include seniors Matt Barber and Claire Eastaway, juniors Mary Jones and Brigid Hasson, and sophomores Will Remmes and Benjamin Gibbs, each of whom has a target goal of $150.
“Their bios are fun and describe their personalities, which will help the sponsors choose a runner to sponsor,” Chavey said. “The runners are also working to meet their own goals, sending the link home to family and friends and spreading the word. We picked runners who we knew were dedicated to running and/or have been really involved with Crusaders for Kids.”
Chavey explained that the race would provide opportunities for people looking to be involved in leadership activities, and that this race would carry a lot of weight regarding future sponsorships.
“It’s important not only for this year, but for next year, as we’re sending pictures of the race out to all of our sponsors from this year and trying to establish a relationship with them for future years,” Chavey said. “The most important thing is that we have a lot of runners register and come run, especially since it’s the morning after Spring Formal.”
Masty and race coordinator Rachel Oleksiak encourage students to visit the “Crusaders for Kids 2nd Annual 5K: Nerds” page either to volunteer to help with registration or race-day duties, or to donate via links on the page.
“Crusaders for Kids is a club dedicated to bringing joy into the lives of children who have struggled with illness for most of their lives. This 5K helps us to fulfill our mission,” Oleksiak said. “We encourage everyone to come out and participate in the 5K. Even if you don’t consider yourself a runner, get involved by volunteering or walking the course. You could help make a wish come true!”