Earlier this month, students, faculty and staff—as well as members of the local community—participated in the first ever Jingle Bell 5K held at Marywood.
More than 200 participants ran or walked the 3.1 mile course.
Ann O'Brien, assistant director for service-learning and community service, who coordinated this year's event, says that the success of the race far surpassed her expectations.
"Our intention was to have a fun event at the end of the semester for students as a stress-buster," O'Brien says. "But it became more than that. The number of people who showed up that day blew us away."
Participants showed their holiday spirit, dressing as Mrs. Claus, Christmas presents, reindeer, elves and more. Awards were given after the race, and a costume and holiday spirit contest was held.
Race proceeds will benefit the university's student service trips to various locations including: Washington D.C., West Virginia, Guatemala, Mississippi and Louisiana.
Inspired by the overwhelming reception of the race, O'Brien says she hopes to make the Jingle Bell 5K an annual event.
"This sort of thing gives us a boost, and it was an opportunity to show the community who we are and what we are about," O'Brien explained. "I want to do this year after year, and I hope this race is the first of many."
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