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Saint Mary’s Senior Class Council hosts ALS 5k

| Friday, November 2, 2018

A rush of frigid water gushing over tensed shoulders, a mouth opened in a silent exclamation of shock and a challenge delivered through chattering teeth. The popular ice bucket challenge is making a reappearance at Saint Mary’s in a big way, introducing the College’s first fundraiser toward the cure for ALS. On Sunday, Senior Class Council will sponsor a 5k benefitting the ALS Association.

Abby O’Loughlin a Senior Class Council representative, said she and other senior representatives decided to start planning a fundraiser after a close friend’s mother was diagnosed with ALS last year.

“We’d been wanting to bring back the ice bucket challenge, and talked about doing a 5k,” O’Loughlin said.  “Each class for Class Council does two events per semester, and this was the perfect opportunity to put our plan into action.”

The idea to start an ice bucket challenge among Class Council and other organizations on campus was one of the first plans set in place for the 5k, O’Loughlin said.

“We thought it would be so fun to bring [the ice bucket challenge] back because it was such a fun trend … and so much money was raised the first time it was a big thing,” she said.  “We thought it would be a perfect marketing tool, and it’s so funny.”

In addition to other representatives on the council, other classmates and Saint Mary’s clubs are stepping in to contribute to the 5k plans, O’Loughlin said.

“We started the whole idea process over the summer, and that’s when we reached out to clubs and asked if they wanted to help,” she said.  “For example, Smick Cycle is doing a class for $5 and the proceeds are going to the ALS Association.”

Senior Class Council originally planned on hosting the event on a different date, O’Loughlin said, but had to scramble to reschedule once they realized that Notre Dame was sponsoring an ALS walk that same weekend. Even after months of preparation, there is still some work to be done, she said.

“So, picking a date was a bit rough,” O’Loughlin said. “And then we had to make a course … and we wanted to do it through the trails … so we had to talk to the [Sisters of the Holy Cross] about getting permission for that. We’re still trying to find volunteers to help out, but we’ve made the signs, the finish line and the start line.”

Instead of including the standard 5k T-shirt with registration for the race, O’Loughlin said Class Council will provide participants with bracelets contributed by an anonymous donor.

O’Loughlin said there are currently 50 registered runners and walkers, and more are expected to join during the upcoming Saint Mary’s Dads’ Weekend.

“I’m just really excited that this many people are excited,” she said. “We already have so many people registered because [ALS] is just something that I know has affected a lot of families at Saint Mary’s, so it’s really personal. It’s really cool to see the community come together, as like with most events at Saint Mary’s. It’s just awesome to see everyone together supporting one cause.”

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