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ROTC cadets run 5k for a cause

Army and Air Force ROTC cadets and participants will run this Saturday to help raise money for the Fresno Veterans Hospital

For the second year in a row, the Air Expeditionary Force and the Battalion Student Organization will fuse together and host a 5k run to help raise money for an important cause — the Fresno Veterans Hospital.

“With the recent budget cuts and government spending, this seemed like an important cause to raise money for,” Capt. David Magoc, Air Force Reserved Officer Training Corps Commandant of Cadets, said.

The date for the run is April 2, starting at 7 a.m. The meeting place will be Fresno State’s North Gym. Various food items and a raffle will also be aspects of the run.

Cadet in the Air Force ROTC Mariana Mancebo said the run costs $10 with all proceeds going to the Fresno Veterans Hospital. She said it’s raising money to help honor the veterans.

Sports psychology major and 5k run participant Jeremy Richter said he thinks it’s a great cause, whether or not someone believes in the various reasons for sending soldiers into combat.

“Those soldiers deserve to be taken care of,” Richter said. “I trust the ROTC and their decision-making with putting on the event and deciding what to do with the proceeds.”

Many students are aware of the presence of the Army and Air Force ROTC on campus, but aren’t sure what it’s about.

Mancebo said that both organizations prepare college students to become officers in the military upon completing their bachelor’s degree or a higher degree.

Magoc said the race not only raise money for awareness of the veterans, but to also expose the cadets to a joint effort between the U.S. Army and Air Force. This type of effort will be a common occurrence once they enter the military.

Six hundred dollars was raised last year, and the goal this year is to raise $1,000. Magoc added that anything exceeding the previous year’s donations would be great. Mancebo said the race itself is funded by ROTC organizations and private donations.

Mancebo said the clubs that participate in this run could earn volunteer hours. One club participating is the Fresno State Sports Psychology Club.

Richter, the club’s president, said the club exists to enhance the sport psychology students’ graduate experience through professional development, community service and social networking.

Richter said their club is small, but around eight members will be participating in the run.

“We like to participate in various community service events and the run presents an opportunity to support an organization on campus and be active while doing so at the same time,” Richter said.

A 5k run was chosen because it’s something that anyone who wants to participate can do. Magoc said that the planning for the organization of the race is much more manageable at that distance.

“It’s a way to prove that we’re fighting for the veterans,” Mancebo said.

This run will continue to be an annual event held in conjunction with the military ball for the cadets in the evening.

Mancebo said that one day they would like to get the race to the status of the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. She said they want to continually expand; hopefully directing future proceeds towards Prisoners of War and Missing in Action organizations as well.