The Ursuline Center’s Nun Run

By Taylor Dressel

The second Nun Run took place on Oct. 8 at the Ursuline Center in Canfield.

The Nun Run is a 5K race or a 1 mile walk that is hosted by the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry. All proceeds from the race benefit the children’s program of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, which provides after school tutoring, mentoring and assistance to children in the Youngstown area who are affected by HIV/AIDS.

Dan Wakefield, the specialist coordinator for the Ursuline Center, said the first Nun Run was successful enough that the Ursuline Center wanted to host another the following year.

“We were able to raise money for the kids’ program, and we had a lot of supporters — from those who participated in the event to those who volunteered or donated their time or items for the event,” Wakefield said. “We had about 125 people participate.”

Wakefield said there are many great things about the Nun Run.

“It provides an opportunity to spotlight the good work of the Ursuline Sisters, their ministries and the good work that they do in our community,” Wakefield said. “It is a family-friendly and fun event. It goes to a good cause — to help disadvantaged children in our area.”

Michele Gatts, a part-time professor at Youngstown State University and an employee for the Ursuline Center, participated at this year’s Nun Run.

“While I am the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown’s communications director, I was involved as a volunteer,” Gatts said. “I’m also an Ursuline Associate, so I actively support the ministries of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, because they truly make a wonderful, positive difference in the lives of local people.”

Gatts is a supporter of the Nun Run, because of all of the good it does.

“The best part of the Nun Run for me is seeing how so many people in the area come out to support such a great cause, and a program that has an actual impact in many children’s lives,” Gatts said.

The Economics Club at YSU had been involved with the Nun Run from the very beginning.

“It was pouring buckets for last year’s [2015] Nun Run, and still, over 100 people came out and had a good time,” Economics Club President Alexandra McFarland said. “Being soaked in seconds became part of the fun. There was so much laughter. Everyone was smiling. It was all about helping children who have a tougher time than most of us can imagine. That was the unifier that warmed all of our hearts.”

McFarland can vouch for how much good the Nun Run does.

“I actively support the ministries of the Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, because they truly make a wonderful, positive difference in the lives of local people,” McFarland said.

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