Brilliant sunny skies, temperatures in the 70’s and the chance to help out a good cause drew thousands of runners and walkers to Beaver Stadium Sunday morning.
More than 4,000 people took part in the Fifth Annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run/Walk event to help raise money for Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
Old and young, finely-tuned athletes and a few couch potatoes crammed onto the starting line. Many ran a three mile course. Others took part in a one mile walk. But all of them ended up at the finish line — on the 50-yard line inside Beaver Stadium.
Sue Paterno was on hand to support the event she helped start five years ago. “I’m ecstatic,” Paterno said. She pointed out that the the first Beaver Stadium Run attracted relatively few runners and raised just $35,000. She is delighted to see how the event has grown. Organizers say they’re still totaling up donations, but they know this year’s run has raised at least $400,000.
Former Penn State football running back and Pittsburgh Steeler great Franco Harris served as the official starter. Harris was also at the finish line to high-five everyone who participated.
Former Penn State Assistant Coach Tom Bradley was also out there shaking hands and posing for photos. Bradley was the man of the hour — Special Olympics PA presented him with the Second Annual Community Hero Award. The award is given out to members of the Penn State football family who have shown support and generosity to Special Olympics and the community.
Watch the video below to see Sue Paterno, Franco Harris and Tom Bradley in action, along with thousands of participants.