By Grace Gottschling
The Alpha Phi Omega (APO) fraternity and the Animal Benefits Club co-sponsored an animal-themed 5K Run and Fun Walk on the cloudy morning of Saturday, Oct. 1., from 9 a.m. to noon, to raise money for EASEL, an organization that runs a local no-kill shelter.
The run was organized by Ethan Crasto, APO president and a junior statistics major. Crasto, who joined the co-ed service fraternity his second semester of freshman year, said it took him over six months to coordinate and plan the event.
The event is the fraternity’s biggest fall event, with more than 150 registered participants for both the 5K and the Fun Walk. The money the fraternity collected was raised through donations and the fee to register for the event.
Lindsay Sanfoyd, a sophomore urban elementary education and Spanish double major, participated in the walk with her parents, who were excited to spend time with their daughter. The trio had no illusions of winning first place, but seemed to enjoy themselves throughout the walk.
The 5K portion of the event took place shortly after the walk concluded. The runners gathered in front of Campus Town, and many dressed up in accordance with the animal theme.
Sean Taylor, a senior accounting major, won first place in the 5K with a time at 18:37, while second place went to Scott Sullivan with a time of 18:54.
Taylor is currently training for the Philly Half Marathon in November and has run in several of the 5Ks organized by groups at the College. However, this was his first 5K co-sponsored by the Animal Benefits Club.
The Animal Benefits Club raises money and awareness for animal rights issues. Morgan Pestorius, the club’s president and a senior elementary education and psychology double major, managed the Fun Run table and distributed information that advertised the opportunities students have to help animals.
Pestorius joined the club her freshman year and has been on the e-board since her sophomore year. The Animal Benefits Club takes its members on weekly shelter trips, fundraises regularly and raises awareness for animal rights issues.
The 5K was the first event the group co-sponsored with APO.
Sarah Kossoy, an APO member and a senior sociology major, described the service fraternity as an alternative for people who want to be in a community, but don’t want to be in a typical fraternity environment.
“I wanted to be able to find my own community,” Kossoy said.
The sponsored organization, EASEL, is an all-volunteer community group that focuses on the reduction of euthanized and unwanted animals in the community. The non-profit organization runs a shelter in Ewing, N.J., that has been no-kill for more than five years. This is EASEL’s first event with APO, but hopefully not its last.
“When organizations come in, it’s a great help to us,” said Christy Garrison, an EASEL board member since 2014. “We would love (for the 5K and Fun Run) to be an annual event.”