Health professions students raise $8,500 through charity runs


Within the last month, three College of Health Professions student groups have organized 5k races to help raise money for Mount Pleasant community health organizations.

The Central Michigan University HP Physician Assistant Class of 2015, Physical Therapy Student Organization and Eta Sigma Gamma, a community health education registered student organization, combined their efforts to raise $8,500.

Joey Scherba, president of the PA Class of 2015 and first year PA student from Flushing, said it was challenging to organize the event in addition to a heavy work load, but it was worth it.

“For having 24 credits this semester and putting on an event like this as a class, I thought everyone really pulled their own and did a great job,” Scherba said.

Most of the proceeds will be donated to health and community organizations. One of the fundraisers, “Going The Distance For Today's Youth,” helped pay for the group's graduation ceremonies.

Hosted by the HP Physician Assistant Class of 2015 at Deerfield Park, more than 100 people participated in the race, helping to raise $2,300. Half of the funds helped support the class and the other half was donated to Big Brothers Big Sisters.

Beginning a few years ago, each physician assistant class began hosting fundraisers to raise money for their own off-campus graduation ceremony. Finishing their education in August, they did not want to wait until December for their ceremony.

The Physical Therapy Student Organization also organized a successful 5K race, with their “Stomp Out MS 5K Run/Walk with Color."

Approximately 365 people participated in the race and raised more than $5,000 for the Michigan chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“As physical therapists, we work a lot with individuals who have MS,” said Katie Erickson, second year HP student from Rapid River and president of the PTSO. “It hits close to home for us.”

“It feels great to be able to help out and make a big contribution.”

Eta Sigma Gamma, the community health RSO, was also able to get in on the action and held a race of its own.

The “Out for Blood 5K and Duathlon” gave participants the option of running or doing a combination of running and biking. Approximately 100 people participated in the race, helping to raise $1,000 for the American Red Cross.

Kelsey Schell, fundraising chair for Eta Sigma Gamma and senior from Peck, said this was the fourth year the RSO hosted a similar event. She said the duathlon serves as a fun event that raises awareness on different health issues.

Renee Castellon, communications and marketing coordinator for HP, said the work done to organize and host these events shows how much the students care about Mount Pleasant, their future careers and CMU.

“To be able to go out and raise funds for all of these different organizations, shows how dedicated the students are and how willing they are to give back, not only to this community but around the state,” Castellon said. “I think that is an absolutely awesome attribute for our students to have.”