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The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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    Student Government Association’s 46th Annual Sam Gomez 5k Charity Road Race Recap

    Student Government Association’s 46th Annual Sam Gomez 5k Charity Road Race Recap

    On the beautiful morning of April 7th, on the corner of Pleasant and Church Street, a large group of people gathered- stretching their legs, putting on their headphones, and taking a few last sips of water… they were preparing to race. Already being one of Berkshire County’s longest running traditions, the Sam Gomez 5K Charity Road Race proved itself to be another success, adding its 46th year of bringing the North Adams community together. Over forty runners from Berkshire County and surrounding areas participated in the Sunday morning run. The proceeds raised from the race were benefiting the Louison House, a local non-profit organization based in North Adams. The race is put on by MCLA’s Student Government Association- the schools primary government body.

    “The event went a lot better than it did last year…we had almost every one of our volunteers show up and we raised over 2000 dollars. The race went really well,” commented Paige Dufur (26’), the Student Government Association Student Trustee. Dufur was the mind of the event, and her work planning was reflected in the success of the race. “I think it is a really good event for bringing people together. Most of the runners are not just MCLA students, but rather North Adams community members. We didn’t have primarily children, but a lot more of the elderly side as well. It was nice to see a lot more of the community come out.” Each of the participants received a Sam Gomez 5K t-shirt, as well as a medal. After the race concluded, there was a reception with food provided. It was a great place to connect with the volunteers, along with other runners that participated.

    The event was a great opportunity for those looking for somewhere to run a 5K, but the race is much more significant. With an over forty-year history, and decades of raising money for the community, the race stands for something beyond itself. “The race was started years back for Professor Sam Gomez, who had a big influence in the cross-country department. When he passed away, his family wanted there to be a race in remembrance of him. We put on the race every year for a different local non-profit. This year it was the Lousion House, a homeless shelter,” said Dufur, regarding the importance of the event. The Louison House focuses on aiding community members who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk for housing instability. They provide individuals and families opportunities for transitional housing, as well as permanent supportive housing for those who are chronically homeless. They are located at 149 Church Street in North Adams.

    SGA was responsible for the entirety of the Sam Gomez 5K, but they do much more than just events. “SGA’s main focus is to cater to the needs of the student body, address any concerns, or make any changes that need to be made,” stated Dufur. The association deals with many different aspects of student life, faculty, and academics. They hold open meetings every other week, in which guest speakers from around campus come to speak about what’s going on in their department, and the projects they are currently pursuing. This past academic year, they have passed new legislation and changed the old constitution to a newer, more updated document. The Student Government Association is led by President Taylor Hope (24’) and advised by April Wright. They are currently holding elections for next years (24/25) academic year.

    “Next year we are planning to have the event on alumni weekend, so that way we can have a lot more of the alumni attending the event, in hopes of making the event as big as possible,” said Dufur, regarding the plans for next year’s 5K. Overall, the event was a fantastic success in which people were brought together for their love of running, as well as their desire to help the community. Next year, the race will be on its 47th year, and it will be exciting to see what the future holds for the Sam Gomez 5K Charity Road Race.

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    Traizen Griffith, Staff Writer

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