Thousands Run To Beaver Stadium In Support Of Special Olympics Pennsylvania
The sixth annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run was held of Sunday morning, benefitting Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Over 4,000 runners participated, sprinting down Curtin Road and finishing just outside Beaver Stadium. The event raised nearly $400,000 in its sixth year.
Cindy Anders has participated in the event every year now, running alongside her friend Kelly Rhoades.
“We think it’s a wonderful cause,” Anders said. “We like to support it. It’s just a great event for the kids. We do it every year.”
Rhoades too feels strongly about the cause and the run, which raises funds for nearly 20,000 adult and children athletes with intellectual disabilities.
“I just think it’s a great community support,” she said. “It has the Paterno family behind it, which draws a lot of supporters. They’re great supporters of Special Olympics Pennsylvania.”
The Paterno family has earned a reputation in State College for its philanthropic work, tirelessly working to give back the community. After the run, Sue Paterno thanked the supporters and told them to enjoy some complimentary bagels.
Anders is extremely thankful of the work the Paterno family does, whether it be for educational resources at the university or causes like Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
“I think the Paterno family does a lot of this town and an exceptional amount for this university,” Anders said. “What they’ve done here is much more than just football. They’ve provided educational support with things like the library. They have given back so much to this community. It’s just unbelievable.”
Penn State football legend Franco Harris was at the finish line on Saturday, posing with the award winners and congratulating them after the race ended.
“I’m very happy to be a part of this. I’m glad to see that the Paterno name is now attached to this race,” Harris said. “That’s a great thing and it means so much. That makes it very special to the community.”
As an athlete himself, Harris said promoting accessibility to sports for everyone is extremely important. That’s why he loves coming out to support the Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
“I love sports and to make sports accessible to everyone and let everybody enjoy the benefits of competing, that’s what makes this such a worthy cause,” he said. “To see the joy and enthusiasm on the faces, and to be part of something that means so much to them, is just a great feeling. It’s just a wonderful event to be a part of.”