For most people, starting in last place sounds like a terrible idea. For Steve Huber, co-THON chair of the AKPsi co-ed business fraternity, it was a revelation.
On November 18, Team Hope, consisting of six current Penn State students and two recent graduates, will start dead last in the Philly Half-Marathon and gain a THON donation for every single person they beat throughout the race. They’ve asked friends, family, and a number of Penn Staters to sponsor each person they pass. As of Tuesday night, they will collectively gain 68 cents per person. Their goal is to gain enough sponsors to receive a dollar per person by race time on Sunday.
Last year, Steve Huber did the half-marathon by himself and raised over $5,000 (by passing 5,520 people) with his sponsors. Since then, he has expanded the efforts to create Team Hope and their “Cents of Hope” website and Twitter account.
Huber, a senior, got the idea from his father who was always running marathons when he was younger. Then, one day, he read an article about a celebrity getting sponsored per mile, and the idea bloomed from there.
“We named the fundraiser ‘Cents of Hope’ to remind those battling cancer that they are not alone in the fight. I wanted to give them a reason to believe; a sense of hope, if you will,” said Huber.
Unfortunately, Huber suffered a knee injury and was ordered by his physician not to run in this year’s race. Although obviously disappointed at first, he increased social media efforts and has been determined to collect more flat donations. In addition, he’ll be hosting Team Hope for a pasta dinner this weekend and cheering them on from the sidelines.
Abby Levy, a sophomore and first-time member of Team Hope, is excited to be running in her first half-marathon and to raise money for THON in a different way.
“I felt that by running in Cents of Hope I would be able to spread the message of why we THON and the cause for pediatric cancer more effectively because it is such a unique idea,” Levy said.
This Sunday, you can track Team Hope’s progress via their Twitter and, as Huber will be doing, “celebrate being 13.1 miles closer to finding a cure.”