Sports

WSU teams up for Run Stanley

WESTFIELD – Westfield State University Athletics is partnering with WSU English professor Vanessa Diana, Assistant Director of the Honors Program and runner, to plan a fundraiser 5k race to benefit Stanley Park. On Sunday, November 17, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., they will host a 5k run and walk through the Stanley Park Wildlife Sanctuary trails to raise funds for rebuilding two trail bridges that were damaged and washed away in recent storms.
Many WSU students participate in local races to raise money and support for great causes, and many of these events are held in Stanley Park, such as the annual Walk for Autism and last April’s Run for Boston to benefit victims of the Boston Marathon bombings.
WSU also has a long tradition of hosting races to support charitable causes, such as the James Earley Invitational – now in its 18th year – and the Banacos Road Race in honor of alumnus James Banacos, which since 1977 has raised money to support academic opportunities on campus.
Westfield State athletics director Richard Lenfest notes that the Athletics Department and student-athletes contribute to a range of civic engagement efforts each year, such as raising money for the Westfield Cancer House of Hope, supporting a local Secret Santa program in the Westfield schools, hosting Special Olympics events, and volunteering for the Westfield Boys & Girls Club.
This year, Lou Ann Simchak, Westfield State intramurals coordinator and race director of the Banacos Road Race, is teaming up with Diana and the Run Stanley Race Committee, combining efforts to benefit Stanley Park in appreciation of the park’s contributions to students’ lives through athletics, recreation, and environmental awareness. WSU athletes will volunteer at the race.
Events will include prizes to overall and age group male and female winners, music, and, directly following the race, a guided nature walk in the Sanctuary trails led by WSU biology Professor David Lovejoy and Nancy Condon, Vice President of the Naturalists’ Club.
The event will take place rain or shine. Diana, an avid runner, considers herself part of the community of runners, hikers, dog owners, nature enthusiasts, and mountain bikers who love Stanley Park, which motivated her to organize this effort to improve the safety and accessibility of its Wildlife Sanctuary trails.
The Run Stanley Race Committee seeks sponsors, volunteers, and participants. For more information about Run Stanley please visit www.runstanley.com or email [email protected]

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