Badger Dash will raise money for Special Olympics

The Athletic Facility Management class has spent the semester planning a race fundraiser for the Lamoille County Special Olympics. The Badger Dash, which will be on Saturday, May 6, will include a competitive color-run 5k and fun run for children.

As the class has learned event planning procedures on campus, they have also been following the Special Olympics event planning guide which, details steps to successfully plan a race or tournament to support the Special Olympics. The guide includes tips on marketing the event, gaining volunteers and depositing fund guidelines for the Special Olympics.

In the case of the Badger Dash, students from the class will be the volunteers. Not only have students done all of the back planning work — which includes contacting vendors and sponsors, planning the race logistics and marketing — but they will also be in charge of race-day registration, direct parking traffic and act as guides out on the race course.

“We don’t have a budget so we’re trying to keep costs down and we are our own volunteers,” said Part-time Business Economics Department Faculty Andrew Lafrenz, who is leading the class in planning the event.

A conference call between the class and Special Olympic staffers was set up during the beginning of the semester to get the event off the ground, and junior sports management major Cam Taylor led the class in getting the event application approved by the Special Olympics.

“They made sure that we were creating an event that was safe and intelligent for their organization,” said Lafrenz.

Jordan O’Grady, another sports management major, has been declared the “food truck guy” by the rest of the class. His duties include reaching out to food vendors in Lamoille County and asking them to sponsor the event and come serve up their food.

“Persistence is key when getting sponsors,” said O’Grady. “I have to be annoying to get answers.”
So far, the committed vendors include Smokin’ Butt’s Barbeque from St. Albans, Pizza on Main from Morrisville and Taco Truck All Stars from Burlington.

“We’re asking the vendors who come in to donate 10 percent of their proceeds to the Special Olympics with us,” said Lafrenz.

The color-run aspect of the race has been speared by Kaylynn Zangla, a senior sports management major.

“We are going to have color for runners to go through but there will be an option to not go through it if you don’t want to,” said Zangla.

According to Lafrenz, there will be a color per lap of the race, but his main concern was making the color optional for all runners. “We don’t want to be throwing color at people who are not into it,” said Lafrenz.

Zangla, along with others, has met with Johnson Works to promote the event and gain more sponsors. A big sponsor of the event is Willington Design & Print, who has donated race t-shirts to be given out to the first 100 runners registered.

Registration is now open online for the Badger Dash at Registration is $5 for students and children, and $10 for adults. Runners can also register on campus the day of the race. The race will kick off at 11 a.m.