by Melissa Brookman 

Families are invited to gather together at the University of Northwestern—St. Paul to celebrate 115 years of Christ-centered education and ministry during its public homecoming events. Besides the traditional football game that most fans flock to, there will be another event that is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Family pictureParents who have small children bursting with energy are encouraged to bring them to enjoy the campus on Saturday, Sept. 30, from 8 a.m. until 11 a.m. during the Northwestern 5k Run or Walk event. This event includes a Kids’ Run with Screech the Eagle and a separate 5k route for participants who wish to bring strollers.

The first year Northwestern hosted the 5k Run or Walk there were 85 participants. The second year, the number increased to 130 participants.  This year it is expected to attract approximately 170 people. Runners and walkers will be provided food and water from donations by Bruegger’s Bagels, Lar Bars and Lunds & Byerlys.

Included in the registration price is a t-shirt and medal that participants can proudly wear when they cross the finish line. Teri Norby, who is the Director of Annual Giving and Donor Services at Northwestern, is organizing the Northwestern 5k Run or Walk event. Norby said, “There will also be a ticket for free admission to Flaherty’s Arden Bowl for those who want go bowling afterwards.” Norby also mentioned that the bowling alley is run by a Northwestern alum and she is happy to support alumni whenever possible. She has hired a DJ to play music throughout the event to keep the energy high and runners motivated.

Participants will find an extra bonus when they tear off their number bib pinned to their shirt at the end of the race. The bib will provide them with free admission into the men’s homecoming football game at 1 p.m., located at the Reynolds Field. Norby added, “I am so grateful for all of the student volunteers. We would not be able to do this event without their help.”

Norby mentioned that a portion of the proceeds from the 5k event will benefit the Jamison & Kathryne Pals Family Foundation, which helps spread the good news of joy through Jesus Christ to Japan, and the Northwestern Fund, which provides scholarships, academic resources and more for students.

According to the Pals Family Foundation’s website, “On July 31, 2016, beside I-80 in Nebraska, the Pals family—Jamison (29), Kathryne (29), Ezra (3), Violet (23 mos.), and Calvin (2 mos.)—departed to be with Jesus Christ.” The site continues to explain how Jamison and Kathryne met. “Jamison and Kathryne met at the University of Northwestern in St. Paul, Minnesota, graduated with bachelor’s degrees (2008 and 2009), and were married on August 14, 2010. Jamison then received a master’s degree summa cum laude from Bethel Seminary in St. Paul (2012) and worked as a grant writer for Feed My Starving Children in Eagan, Minnesota. Kathryne was a devoted and tender mother to their three children. Bethlehem Baptist Church recently appointed the Pals family to serve in Nagoya, Japan, with World Venture. They were traveling to their last training in Colorado.”

In one of Jamison’s blogs, he wrote, “It burdens us to know that over 126 million people in Japan don’t have who we have. We cherish Jesus Christ. We know that he is worthy of love, trust, adoration and obedience, no matter what people group you belong to or culture you identify with. We simply want to play a small part in bringing these things about for people in Japan. We want Jesus Christ for Japan. That’s what ‘the joy of Japan’ really means.”

Participants can register in the lobby of the Totino Fine Arts Center on Friday, Sept. 29, from noon until 3 p.m. or on Saturday, Sept. 30, starting at 7:15 a.m. This event is free for kids 8 years old and under. Ticket prices are $40 for same-day individual registration or $36 per person for a group of 10 people or more. A t-shirt is included in the ticket price. Northwestern students will receive a $20 discount when they show their student ID at the ticket office. Discounted advanced tickets can be purchased online at www.unwsp.edu/5run or by calling (651) 631-5151 or toll free at (866) 821-5151. If you are interested in volunteering for this event, visit www.unwsp.edu/5krun for details. Everyone is invited to participate in the Northwestern 5k Run or Walk regardless of fitness ability.

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