On Saturday, the Youngstown State University tennis courts teemed with runners eager to contribute to a good cause.
They lapped around campus at the American Medical Student Association’s first 5k for Kids.
The top male and female runners each received a gift basket with a free one-month membership to Creekside Fitness & Health Center and a $25 gift certificate to Dick’s Sporting Goods. The divisional winners each received a medal and a $10 gift card.
Dylan Thomas, a senior biology pre-med major, helped coordinate the event. He said the race benefited both the community and the AMSA.
“We were looking for ways to help raise money for Akron Children’s Hospital Mahoning Valley, attract more people to the university and get AMSA’s name out to the student body,” Thomas said. “Sponsoring the 5k helped accomplish all of our objectives.”
Taylor Kress, vice president of the AMSA, said she is interested in volunteerism and medicine. The 5k satisfied both of her interests.
“With this group, we are able to help the community a lot,” Kress said. “We all want to do something with medicine, and we all want to help our community.”
Kress said AMSA officers had initially worried that their race would never get off the ground.
“The week before, we only had nine people signed up. From that point till right now, we have had over 40 people sign up,” she said. “We were going to cancel it, but we have had a great turnout.”
Thomas said that since April, the 5k for Kids increased in popularity. He said he hopes to build on this success by making it better each year.
“I feel very good about the event because the money raised will go to a good cause and help families here in the Valley,” he said.