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Friar 5K Raises More Than $12,000, Draws 954 Registrants

Providence, R.I.--The second annual Friar 5K and Friar Fanfest at Providence College proved to be a record-setting success.

Sponsored by the Office of Institutional Advancement and the Department of Athletics, the event on Saturday, October 22, began with a 3.1-mile road race that started and ended at Harkins Hall and continued with the Fanfest on the Slavin Center lawn. The men’s basketball team’s annual Mal Brown Scrimmage followed in Mullaney Gym in Alumni Hall.

Held under cool, sun-splashed conditions, the Friar 5K set records for fund-raising and participation. The race raised more than $12,000 for the PC Fund--more than $2,500 above last year’s total--and drew 954 registrants and 814 participants. Those figures easily surpassed last year’s totals of 726 registered runners and walkers and 575 participants.

The PC Fund supports the institution’s most important initiatives, including academic programs and faculty support, student programs and services, campus life, technology, financial aid, and athletics.

“It was really wonderful to see this event come to life for such a good cause. The Friar community was nothing but smiles,” said Ashley Buglio ’10, coordinator for alumni relations in the Office of Institutional Advancement. She co-chaired the Friar 5K with John L. May ’11G, development associate for annual giving in the institutional advancement office.

“We were so pleased and overwhelmed by the response and support for the PC Fund,” she added. “This was such a great community event for an important cause.”

“The event was a great way for the PC community to come together for a day and be proud of being a Friar,” said May.

PC administrator wins race

Blazing to victory in his second Friar 5K appearance was Dr. Steven Sears, interim vice president and associate vice president for student affairs administration and dean of students.

Sears, who took up running several years ago to lose weight and who ran in last year’s Boston Marathon, placed first in a time of 17:16.5, more than 12 seconds ahead of the second-place finisher, PC student Ryan Hansen ’15 (Kingston, Mass.), who was clocked in 17:28.6. The course took runners and walkers through streets in the Elmhurst neighborhood around campus.

Sears said that while winning the race “was invigorating,” it was more important to him to support the College community and the PC Fund.

“I enjoyed the course because it was challenging, but it also had the runners travel through the streets that many of our students, staff, and faculty reside on,” he said.

The women’s champion was Jill Johnson of Bristol, R.I., who crossed the finish line in eighth place overall in a time of 18:37.5. Placing second among women was PC student Amberly Glitz ’12 (Des Plaines, Ill.), who finished 18th overall in a time of 19:30.5.

In all, 447 PC students and 290 alumni registered for the Friar 5K. The participants included College President Rev. Brian J. Shanley, O.P. ’80; Rev. James Cuddy, O.P. ’98, College chaplain; and Rev. James F. Quigley, O.P. ’60, associate chaplain of the PC National Alumni Association.

The diverse field also included 76 parents of PC students, as well as entire families--some of whom pushed children in strollers.

Collegewide and beyond campus, the Friar 5K received strong support. Buglio and May were assisted by more than 40 PC students, alumni, faculty, and staff members who served on race committees. Masters of ceremonies were Jay Romasco ’71, John Dolan ’01, and Robbie Smith-MacDonald ’12 (Mansfield, Mass).

Prior to the race, Romasco introduced two-time Boston Marathon winner Geoff Smith ’84 to the audience. After a prayer by Father Cuddy, the runners and walkers heard greetings and best wishes from Fay A. Rozovsky, J.D., M.P.H. ’73 & ’08Hon., president of the National Alumni Association. Aubrey Dion ’14 (North Attleboro, Mass.) sang the National Anthem.

Student Congress provides major gift

The Student Congress, along with TD Bank, was one of two headliner event sponsors. Eleven other businesses and groups, including Matt Koelsch and The Allies band, also were sponsors.  Koelsch is a member of the Class of 2007.

“We were happy to contribute again this year and continue the spirit of our support for the PC Fund, which is such a worthy cause,” said Tucker de Villier ’12 (Springfield, Mass.), treasurer of the Student Congress, which contributed $3,000 toward the race and was a sponsor for the second consecutive year.

“It’s great to bring our alums back to campus, and this is great for the community,” he added.

One alumnus who walked in the race and received a medal for finishing third in the 70 and over category was Paul Dooley ’62 of Raynham, Mass. Noting his 50th reunion is next year, he said he was delighted to return to campus and see so many improvements. Dooley and his wife, Janet, said they were particularly impressed by the new renovations in Harkins Hall.

“I’ve always contributed to the annual fund. PC has a fond place in my heart,” said Dooley. 

After runners and walkers finished, they paraded up the stairs behind Harkins to the Slavin Center lawn, where the Friar Fanfest was well under way.

The Fanfest featured vendors, activities and games for the whole family, an autograph session with the men’s and women’s basketball teams, and appearances by several mascots. Among mascots on hand were Paws from the Pawtucket Red Sox, Jake from Cat Country (98.1-FM, WCTK), and Lucky from the Boston Celtics. Koelsch and The Allies provided music.

For race results, go to http://www.coolrunning.com.

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