La Verne community runs for funds

Joseph Fengler, University of La Verne Board of Trustees member, energizes fellow runners before the Athletic Training Student Club’s Community 5k Fun Run on Saturday. As a part of the Homecoming festivities, the event raises money for the club to attend regional and national conferences and pay for club shirts and workshops for the public and for high schools in the area.
Joseph Fengler, University of La Verne Board of Trustees member, energizes fellow runners before the Athletic Training Student Club’s Community 5k Fun Run on Saturday. As a part of the Homecoming festivities, the event raises money for the club to attend regional and national conferences and pay for club shirts and workshops for the public and for high schools in the area. / photo by Julian Mininsohn

Melissa Gasia
Staff Writer

The Athletic Training Student Club held its annual 5K Fun Run fundraiser during Homecoming weekend Saturday at Sneaky Park to raise proceeds for the club’s activities.

“There’s been a fun run associated with Homecoming for at least as long as I’ve been here,” said Paul Alvarez, race director and clinical supervisor for athletic training education. “The emphasis is on having fun and being safe.”

Tickets to participate were sold for $15 online and $20 at the event. Alvarez said this gives an incentive for the participants to pay in advance for the club to have an idea of the head count for the race.

Alvarez arrived at the park on his bicycle and greeted the runners along with President Devorah Lieberman.

The fun run was open from those who took running seriously to those who just wanted to enjoy the day with their family and friends.

More than 80 alumni, students, faculty, staff and community members participated. Alvarez said it is convenient to have a small group so that they would not need to close down the street, which would cost money.

Before running, participants all jumped and stretched together and got ready at the starting line on Third Street to wait for the go signal from Alvarez.

Some ran, jogged, or speed walked. Some even brought their dogs to run with them.

Hector Dorado, a junior at Bassett High School, was the first person to finish the race and win the fun run.

He reached the end of the line in 19 minutes and 38 seconds. While sweaty and out of breath, he managed to smile at every person that supported and congratulated him.

“It feels good,” Dorado said. “Everybody here seems like a family together as a community and it’s nice to have people cheering you on.”

After seeing 12 males make it, the first female in sight of getting to the finish line was 11-year old Lilly Carrillo, finishing with 28 minutes and six seconds.

“It’s pretty awesome (to win) for my age,” Carrillo said. “It’s really cool just to get to know the area and have fun.”

The seventh grader Traweek Middle School student ran with her sister, senior child development major Gabriela Carrillo, and father Bolivar Carrillo.

The top three females and males received a medal during the ceremony.

One of the runners, John Wright, got the crowd cheering as he ran while pushing his two children, Michaela and Julian, on their double stroller along with his wife, Xochitl Martinez, director of student accounts. They have been running at the fun run for the last four years and made it a tradition.

“It’s a good thing for them (Julian and Michaela) to come out and experience the same thing except they’ve been out here since they were newborns actually when we came out here,” Wright said. “It’s great bringing everybody together especially workers, students and everything like that— just the community. It’s good to have everybody come out here and run to participate.”

Melissa Gasia can be reached at melissa.gasia@laverne.edu.

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