On Nov. 20, the air was brisk as joggers, runners and walkers took to the University of Maine trails behind the Recreation Center. People who paid into the event ran five kilometers in order to take part in the Sophomore Owls charity event. Although runners were spread out, those who finished trickled to the finish stand and received water bottles, bananas and other small items.
The Sophomore Owls are an Honors College fraternity. Like all fraternities at the UMaine, volunteer events are common. For the Sophomore Owls, however, they set the goals high: attempting to raise money for their own scholarship fund. The registration for the five kilometer fun run was $20, but students could use a promotional code to run for only $10 instead. Although advertised as a 5K event, kids under nine years old could run a half mile event as well. Registrations were done online through Racewire. An additional part of the Turkey Trot event was a food drive event. Most advertising for the event was seen online social media, such as Facebook.
“We’re the Sophomore Owls. We have a scholarship fund we’re trying to build up. We had the idea of running a running a turkey trot,” David Glasberg, a second-year participating a Sophomore Owls, said. “[The Sophomore Owls] have been great.”
Glasberg was not the only Sophomore Owl willing to talk about their group or cause.
“We have a tradition society since 1999. We are here to do a couple things. We help freshmen out. We’re trying to do a UMaine leadership program. This event we use to put towards a scholarship event for upcoming freshmen,” Joe Beauduin, another second-year student involved in the Sophomore Owls, said.
Not everyone ran simply for charity, however. Chris Byrun, a second year undergraduate student at UMaine, was one of the runners. When asked if he enjoyed the event or who he was running for, Byrun responded, “It was great. I was running for myself, to beat my time.”
Whether running to beat personal time, or just running for fun, the money would go to upcoming freshmen at the University of Maine. In that sense, even those running for themselves were really running for someone else. As UMaine continues to have expanding class sizes, the opportunities and challenges with applying to scholarships seem daunting. This is especially true for freshmen undergraduate students. To have a scholarship fund set by the Sophomore Owls to exclusively help freshmen adjust to the college life and their expenses may make certain freshmen’s first year less stressful.
While the Sophomore Owls did not disclose the amount of people who registered for the race, runners were seen along the trails and around the sidewalks of the University. At around 11 a.m., the group relocated so they could be better seen. They played loud, energizing music to help attract people to their booth as well.
For those interested in staying up to date about the Sophomore Owls’ newest and latest community and volunteer events, check their Facebook page, which they keep updated with events and updates. Past events that the Sophomore Owls have done include the Black Bears Leadership Summit, helping to set up for Maine Day activities and plenty more. The Sophomore Owls continue to make UMaine more active in helping others through exercise and community outreach.