|Jingle Bell Run to raise arthritis awareness|
|Written by Jennifer Novoseletsky, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Thursday, 08 November 2012 17:43|
After raising arthritis awareness for 25 years, the Bloomington-Normal community and people from towns nearby continue participating in Jingle Bell Run annually.
The race will be held at 1 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 11 at Heartland Community College.
“The Jingle Bell Run is a 5k run and walk and a one mile walk to raise awareness and funds to help fight arthritis,” Tara Braucht, Arthritis Foundation Heartland Region Area Director of Eastern Illinois, said.
For kids ages 5 and under, the Kid’s Santa Sprint is new to the Jingle Bell Run this year. For $10, a child is able to run 200 yards along side with Santa Claus. Those signed up will also receive long-sleeved shirts and a ribbon.
Braucht emphasized the importance of raising awareness arthritis and encourages the community to step up for a good cause.
“[People] don’t realize that over 50 million Americans have arthritis and that over 300,000 children have arthritis,” she explained.
Each year a new goal for raised funds is set for the Jingle Bell Run.
“We raised $110,000 last year, and our goal is $120,000 this year,” Braucht explained. “[Koch’s] class is a huge help; they help raise awareness and put posters up and brochures up, and last year they raised over $25,000.”
Small group processes, a communication class on campus, participates in this event annually and helps raise money and volunteer.
“Nearly everyone in the class — 190 students — will help in some capacity,” Megan Koch, instructor in the School of Communication, said. “Many will be walking or running and others volunteering at the event itself. Last year [COM] 223 provided about 150 volunteer hours the week of the event and at the Run itself.”
For those who wish to participate in the race and have not yet registered they have the opportunity during packet pick-up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday or before the race from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Braucht explained.
“Probably the most rewarding part is when students have their families come and run together because of a relative with arthritis, or ask if they can come back and TA the class in a later semester or tell me their group got back together to participate in the Run again, or best of all, that their project portfolio helped them land a job or internship,” Koch explained. “This project and the course content teach very valuable skills, and it’s great to see it benefits students who care and work hard.”