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5K lights path for service projects

G.L.O.W. to benefit charities in Texas and internationally

Published: Thursday, February 20, 2014

Updated: Thursday, February 20, 2014 22:02

Currently the largest 5K on campus, the G.L.O.W. 5K has an average participation of more than 3,000 people. The nighttime fun run, which is held annually by Maggies and Aggie Men’s Club, is ready to light up the night again Saturday.

G.L.O.W. stands for “Giving to Light Others Way,” and the entirety of the $10 registration fee goes to support Aggie Men’s Club and Maggies’ philanthropies. AMC’s philanthropic effort is a partnership with the nonprofit organization Building-a-Future.

Based in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and run by Jorge Mahomar, Building-a-Future seeks to rescue children from impoverished conditions. Before travel restrictions to Honduras were enacted three years ago, members of AMC traveled to Tegucigalpa during spring break and assisted in the effort to build homes for families. G.L.O.W. co-director and senior international studies major, Andrew Samples, said he traveled to Honduras his freshman year.

“I just loved getting to work with the people there,” Samples said. “I remember seeing the kids’ faces light up when we walked into the room. There was this baby girl who had the most beautiful grey eyes I had ever seen. She had no idea what we were doing, but she was giggling the whole time. Just the joy they had the whole time, even given their circumstances, it was so cool to see.”

The other half of the proceeds will benefit Maggies’ philanthropy project, New Horizons, a residential treatment center for abused children located in Goldthwaite. The center was built for children who have suffered traumatic experiences, from abusive parents to drug addiction, and helps them reestablish a sense of normalcy until they can be placed with a foster family or returned to their parents.

“We get to actually go and visit once every semester, so that’s really cool,” said Brittany McConville, G.L.O.W. co-director and senior health major. “It’s definitely something that is worth the $10 because we’re able to do so much with the money and help make better lives for all of these children.”

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the G.L.O.W. 5K, which McConville said reflects the growing significance of the fun run to the A&M community. She encouraged people to bring family and friends to run with them to help grow the event’s impact both in Texas and internationally.

“G.L.O.W. has really become such a vital part of A&M’s campus,” McConville said. “I’ve heard about G.L.O.W. ever since I got here as a freshman, and now I’m a senior and it’s really cool to see how it has formed over the past few years. It’s a really great event.”

Zachary Vaughn, junior mechanical engineering major, said he was impressed not only with the large attendance at G.L.O.W. but at how fun it made the task of giving back to others.

“It was insane,” Vaughn said. “There were hundreds of people and they had all these glow sticks out. Probably one of the funniest moments of my freshman year was going to the 5K. It was really great — they had people cheering you on. I liked that the 5K was really fun and enjoyable. It was really great, easy way to give back.”

G.L.O.W. starts at 9 p.m. Saturday outside The Zone Club in front of Kyle Field. Participants receive a T-shirt, glow sticks and admission to a concert following the race.

Registration will close Saturday night. Tables will be set up at Rudder, the Commons and Wehner, and are open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and online registration is available on the G.L.O.W. website.  

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