College works with community to foster 10Kan activities

SUNY Oswego will be a major partner in the inaugural effort to raise awareness about the benefits of fitness in the community, promote recycling and support Habitat for Humanity through the Novelis 10Kan Run/Walk and related events.

“Our campus as a whole has a vested interest in civic engagement, positive choices and community involvement,” SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley said. “That this not only encourages fitness and wellness but also emphasizes environmental responsibility and supports Habitat for Humanity makes it a wonderful and worthy effort. I encourage faculty, staff and students to become involved.”

While the 10-kilometer race Saturday, Sept. 22, is the headline activity, the larger picture involves cultivating a healthier lifestyle, said Scott Harrison, the college’s representative on the community-wide steering committee.

SUNY Oswego faculty and students will be involved with a “day of wellness” working with children from around Oswego County on Sept. 21, said Harrison, who works in the college’s Office of Intramurals and Recreation. Around 2,500 students from local elementary schools are expected to meet at Leighton Elementary and parade to Breitbeck Park. The goal is to assemble around 200 members of the SUNY Oswego community to help with that effort.

The park will house a number of activities for kids, such as an exhibition including animals and lessons on the environment from Sea World, Habitat for Humanity volunteers teaching about building, Novelis representatives discussing recycling, and Oswego Health and the Oswego YMCA holding a wellness workshop.

In the months leading up to the 10K, the Oswego YMCA has hosted regular training sessions for those building up to do the race, with many members of the campus community participating. Since greater promotion of wellness and fitness is one aspect of the college’s next strategic plan, this activity dovetails with the increased emphasis.

Encouraging recycling is another thrust of the overall effort, as participation in the race itself and a kids’ fun run the night before can be paid for completely by donating aluminum cans. The educational components of recycling and helping the environment are “a large part of the effort, especially with the elementary school kids,” Harrison said.

Another key plank is proceeds from the race supporting Habitat for Humanity’s efforts to build affordable homes for families in need. The overall goal is to collect 1 million cans—thus promoting the importance of recycling—to raise $50,000 for Habitat.

Toward that end, Harrison worked with every residence hall last spring for a recycling fundraiser and awareness activity. In the span of a month, students contributed 6,300 cans, raising $315 for Habitat for Humanity. “I think many of the students participated because they were giving to a worthy cause,” Harrison said.

Students have many opportunities not only to support the community endeavor but also to gain experience for their resumes, Harrison said. For example, education majors can work with the elementary school event, while those interested in public relations or special events can help with any number of activities.

Faculty, staff or students interested in participating can visit 10kanrun.com or contact Harrison at 312-5609 or sharris2@oswego.edu.

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(Posted: Jul 17, 2007)

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