Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics holds Halloween charity 5k run

Lauren Caruba

Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics hosted “Trick or Trot,” a 5K charity run that drew 60 runners from the NU community and Chicago area Saturday morning.

The race started at the lakefill and wrapped around campus several times before ending near the Regenstein Hall parking lot.

Members of Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics wore costumes, including a cow and a taco, and cheered on runners at various points in the course.

NU students paid $10 and non-students $15 to register for the race. Proceeds went toward Young Athletes Day in May, an event hosted by the organization that teaches basic athletic skills to about 300 children aged 2 to 7 from the northern Illinois area.

Weinberg senior Nicole Hendrix, co-chair of Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics, said the yearly event attracts runners from around the Chicago area who enjoy contributing to a good cause.

“We’re able to bring all these runners in who are already interested in this event,” Hendrix said.

The run is usually hosted in late November as a “Turkey Trot,” but Hendrix said the group decided to move it up to Halloween weekend to avoid colder temperatures, as race attendance is often contingent on the weather.

“I love the program that we do,” Hendrix said. “It’s just that relationship we build with the athletes. That’s why we do all of this.”

The radio station 104.3 K-Hits helped to publicize the race. Representatives from the station set up a tent at the startline Saturday, playing music and handing out t-shirts.

“It’s for a good cause,” said Matt Paulus, promotions coordinator for K-Hits. “We’re always looking out for events that we can help out at and also publicize the station.”

Weinberg senior Elizabeth Sayers ran the race for the first time this year with three fellow members of the coed service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega.

“It’s nice to be able to combine something I love with a good cause,” Sayers said. “It’s a good way for students to get more involved on campus and with charities.”

University of Illinois at Chicago graduate student Liz Driscoll agreed.

“It was a really, really nice atmosphere,” said Driscoll, who placed first in the race’s female division.

Twelve-year-old Haley Click ran the race with her father and finished second in the female category. A student at Deer Path Middle School in Lake Forest, Click has been running for two years and said she found out about the race online.

Her father, Bill Click, said he enjoys participating in these kinds of events with his daughter.

“It’s just something we can do together,” Bill Click said. “Coming to Evanston and running by the lake and through campus is great.”

Cody Lawrence, publicity committee co-chair for Northwestern to Benefit Special Olympics, also ran the race. He said the organization is a good way to get involved on campus and raise awareness about Special Olympics, especially with Young Athletes Day.

“I had a really good time going to the coaching sites and working with the athletes,” the Weinberg senior said. “It’s a really great organization.”

NOTE: This article has been changed online to reflect the correct spelling of Alpha Phi Omega.

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