Holy Cross Runs for a Cause
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 12:10
Students may have seen members of the Holy Cross community running around campus following a trail of balloons lining roads from Kimball to the Hart Center last weekend. This was because of the annual Miles for Smiles 5K hosted by the Operation Smile club at Holy Cross on Saturday, September 29.
The club raises money to fund effective reconstructive surgery for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
The Operation Smile international organization has helped over 150,000 girls and boys have a new start in life. The club at Holy Cross has contributed to the organization through its events such as the Miles for Smiles run, and donations.
At this past week’s run, the club raised $240 with about 30 runners participating. Runners had the option of signing up right before the race, however, most signed up at the Hogan lobby tables during the week leading up to the event.
Organizing the event was no easy task. For many members of the club, setting up this event was a new experience. Co-Chair of Operation Smile Alex Yeo ’15, gives thanks to the E-Board for all their hard work to make the event run smoothly, even with the remarkable challenge of creating a course on Mount Saint James.
“The Operation Smile E-Board is comprised of a great group of individuals who made planning this event so effortless,” said Yeo. “It is impossible to avoid hills on campus, so it was interesting trying to figure out how the club could make the race as enjoyable as possible while still keeping it 5K.”
Just the idea of completing a 5K run is gratifying enough for some students and faculty, but being able to contribute to an important cause at the same time makes the run more meaningful.
Participant Linnea Brandt ’16 was excited to be a part of an event that she could do with friends while donating to Operation Smile.
“Miles for Smiles was an easy, enjoyable way to help contribute to a good cause,” said Brandt. “It was exciting doing a race with friends knowing that the contributions were going towards helping children live healthier and more productive lives.”The Operation Smile club at Holy Cross is just one of the many groups around the world that volunteers time to raise money.
Student Government Association Representative for the club Caroline Lillis, ‘16 joined Operation Smile so she could make her contribution to a widely known cause.
“The club raises awareness about children with cleft lips within the local community, while at the same time aids children from all over the world,” shared Lillis. “The club goes beyond the scope of the Worcester community and gives back towards something that is of a much larger scale.”
Not only does Operation Smile fund surgeries for cleft lip, it also supports cleft lip surgeries to continue in the future. “The Miles for Smiles run is the club’s most notable event; it has been done every year since the club was founded in 2009,” said Yeo.
“Operation Smile not only sends doctors and nurses to perform cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries, but also trains individuals to continue the practice in third world countries.”
For many participants in the run, the purpose of the event was not necessarily to compete in a race, but rather was to spend time with friends while being physically active.
“The most notable aspect of the event was being able to tour campus with friends on a beautiful, sunny, fall day,” said Brandt.
The event would not have been possible without the help of everyone who was involved, including volunteers and runners. All participants were clearly overjoyed as they crossed the finish line, knowing they had successfully completed the 5K run.
The club is always looking for new members, and has asked that any students interested in becoming involeved contact them via their email at email@example.com.