4th Annual Cycle-Thon and 5K Breaks Records
by Pamela Batson (April 2009)
Students, alumni, and friends gathered at Sunset Park in State College on Sunday, April 26 for the fourth annual Cycle-Thon and 5K to benefit the Summer College Opportunity Program in Education (SCOPE). SCOPE is a four-week summer program that aims to increase access to the field of education for all high-achieving high school students who are interested in the education profession.
“This was our best year yet! So many people contributed to make the day a success and all the community support for the College and SCOPE was very heart-warming, as was the summer-like temperature. Cycle-Thon is a community building event that truly forges pathways to college for wonderfully talented high school students with interests in education careers,” said Dean David Monk.
The event beat previous years by raising over $6,000 through registration fees, t-shirt sponsors, private donations, and a grant from Penn State’s Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity.
A record 250 people attended the event, which kicked off at 10 a.m. at Sunset Park in State College. Some participants chose to cycle either the 14- or 7-mile paths, while others ran or walked a 5K on trails throughout State College. The event ended with a picnic with family and friends.
“This year the event not only brought together the local community, but we had alumni from all over the country participate,” said Brent Hurley, alumni relations director and organizer.
Upon crossing the finish line, participants were greeted with a cold bottle of water and cheering students and staff who had volunteered for the day. Steve and Carol Gentry, Class of 1969, served as the first honorary alumni track and field officials for the 5K portion of the event.
Event organizers Hurley and Samantha Culovic, special events and relations assistant, recruited 20 student volunteers from the College of Education to help make the day a success. The students were on hand to help with registration and to later pass out boxed lunches, assist with the raffle, and clean up the park.
While participants and their families enjoyed a picnic, Culovic raffled 15 items that were donated by community members and businesses. This was the first year that a raffle was added to the event. Prizes were also given to the first- and second-place finishers on each of the four routes, as well as to the oldest participant, and the family with the most people registered. The highlight of the raffle was a Schwinn mountain bike that was donated by Target and Edward and Ryan Russell. The winner of the bike was Noelis Marquez, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Architecture.
After the picnic, guests enjoyed bicycle demonstrations by Bob Swaim. Specializing in unique and interesting bikes, Swaim brought 15 bikes that he has made or acquired over time for the participants and their families to enjoy.