By: Anna Bosted and Laura Pollack
The VOICE held its second annual First Amendment 5K Run-Walk on October 1. Nearly seventy participants arrived to race that supported Mercer’s award-winning paper and the first amendment.
For Stephanie Nawracaj, the first place overall woman’s finisher with a time of 22:41, the themes of freedom and charity were incentives for participating.
“I run a 5K every week. I’m into supporting (the causes) and donating my money,” said Nawracaj.
As for her decision to support a student run newspaper? “I’m a student too, so it’s always good to help out fellow students,” said Nawracaj, a full-time student at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and who lives in Mercer County.
The first place men’s finisher and the overall fastest runner was Carlos Robles of Trenton, who finished in 18:27. Though he was among the runners less concerned with the cause and more focused on the race, Robles says he was impressed by the atmosphere of the event. “I was more than happy to be here…there’s a family atmosphere, and that’s the
most important thing. It’s a good way to start the weekend.”
The First Amendment 5K served as both a fund-raiser for the newspaper as well as a charity event. The money raised through the event helps the news staff upgrade equipment and cover the costs of organizing the paper and participating in national conventions and competitions.
Though the drenching rain of the previous week had indicated bad weather that morning, and had washed out a portion of the signage directing runners around the course, the race was a success. Clear skies, sun, and cool fall temperatures met the runners. In addition to the signs, newspaper staff members were able to direct runners around the course.
The remainder of the bottled water and food donated by local businesses was taken to The Mission Store in Trenton. The Rescue Mission of Trenton
has been in operations since 1915, distributing clothing and necessities to those in need, as well as providing services that include Work Therapy and Life Skills programs.