Running For A Cause Popular Among Students

Nicole Battista, Reporter

A 5K run or walk event seems like a popular way to spread the word about an organization or cause–at least in the university community.

The National Stuttering As- sociation Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter hosted the “Don’t Tell Me to Slow Down 5K” and the Sports Management Association will host “Mountin’ Cancer 5K.”

Terrence Murgallis, Founder and Co-Chapter Leader of the National Stuttering Association Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter and President of Students Spreading Disability Awareness, said that the goal of the 5K is to “reach the masses” to spread awareness and raise money for the National Stuttering Association.

Murgallis came to Misericordia as a freshman and did not know anyone who stuttered, so he started an informal support group. He discovered the National Stuttering Association Chapter and joined it, describing it as a “giant support group for persons who stutter.”

The National Stuttering Association had previously fundraised by creating tumbler cups. The cups were a success, and hosting a 5K was the next big move. Murgallis said 5K races are relatively easy, fun ways to spread awareness about organizations.

“It is easy to spread the word and people like doing it,” Murgallis said.

The name for the race came from a phrase that is often heard by people who stutter.

“When you are younger and you have a stutter, people always say ‘Oh, slow down. Take your time,’” Murgallis said.

That same philosophy applies to running.

The event took place on campus, starting at the field house and looping around twice. Sponsors provided food and trophies. Upon pre-registering participants received a T-shirt that provided free advertising for sponsors and the National Stuttering Association. Sponsors included were Bagel Art, Pizza Bella, Scranton Running Company and Walgreens.

Murgallis said that the expected turnout was as many people as they could reach.

“Our goal is to spread the word,” Murgallis said.

Keep in mind that the National Stuttering Association improves lives every day, Murgallis said. Stuttering affects one percent of the population, or 3 million people, and they deserve respect just as all people do.

Do not be caught off guard by people who stutter and do not finish their sentences for them, Murgallis said.

Portions of the proceeds will send one of the National Stuttering Association members to the National Conference in July, which 600 to 800 people attend and interact with others who stutter.March 20 was the National Stuttering Association’s one year anniversary, Murgallis said. The club plans to “keep doing what they are doing” by spreading the word.

“Mountin’ Cancer” will support cancer research for the Medical Oncology Center in Kingston, PA. Sophomore sport management major and project manager of the “Mountin’ Cancer 5K” Dillon DelRosso said the main goal is to learn more about event planning. DelRosso has four assistant project managers and eight others who are working on public relations, social media, and other tasks.

DelRosso said the group had a hard time developing a name for the event.

“We thought of a name that had to do with cancer, and then we thought of a name that had to do with Misericordia or Cougars, and we thought of a name that had to do with the area,” DelRosso said.

Mountin’ Cancer is a way to say “help beat cancer,” DelRosso said. “Help get cancer off our back” is the event’s slogan, and the word “back” came from Back Mountain, DelRosso said.

The committee looked at all of the running events in the area and chose to schedule the event during a weekend when there was not much going on.DelRosso said that it is unlucky that the “Color Run” sponsored by Student Government Association occurs the day before the “Mountin’ Cancer 5K.”The date was also determined by the committee members’ schedules and the weather. DelRosso said there is a need for sponsors to fund bibs for the runners as well as food as well as other expenses.

“Nothing is free. Everything costs something,” DelRosso said.

Sponsors receive advertising. DelRosso’s hopes the event planning skills he acquires are applicable to challenges later in life.nDelRosso is anticipating the sight of “everyone all lined up and ready to go: runners, walkers, it does not matter.” The Sport Management Association hopes to get a turnout of over 100 people. DelRosso said that the committee plans to have a table in Banks for pre-registration. Pre-registration is $20 and registration the day of the event is $25. The event will be held at Francis Slocum State Park.

Murgallis offered some advice to participants in the 5K.

“Keep your shoes tied. Pace yourself. Have fun. Remember that is for a good cause. Enjoy yourself,” Murgallis said.

DelRosso offered some advice as well.

“Keep in mind that you are doing it for a good cause. Keep in mind that this is run by college students – we are going to do the best that we can do. Keep in mind again that it is for a good cause. Keep our sponsors in mind. Look out for another 5K next year,” DelRosso said.

For more information on “Don’t Tell Me to Slow Down 5K” check out the National Stuttering Association: Northeast Pennsylvania Chapter on Facebook.

For more information on “Mountin’ Cancer 5K” go to: https://mountincancer5k.event- and check it out on Facebook or Twitter, @Mountin- Cancer5K.

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