For the third year now, a 5K Run/ one-mile Family Fun Walk will take place at Penn State on Sunday, April 22, during Blue-White Weekend to benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania.
The run begins in front of the Bryce Jordan Center on Curtin Road, and winds through campus before finishing with runners racing through the Beaver Stadium Tunnel and onto the fifty yard line.
This year’s run will honor former Nittany Lions head coach Joe Paterno, a longtime supporter of the Special Olympics Pennsylvania. Paterno had served as an Honorary Chair for the Pennsylvania Summer Games, had spoken at events and had encouraged the football team's participation at Special Olympics Pennsylvania events. Paterno’s wife, Sue, joined the Special Olympics Pennsylvania Board of Directors in 1989.
After achieving a fundraising benchmark of $62 (signifying Paterno’s 62 years at Penn State), runners become a member of “Team Paterno” and will receive gifts after each level of fundraising.
“Team Paterno” incentive levels go as follows:
$62 – Team Paterno (Paterno’s years at Penn State)‐ Special Memorial Long Sleeved T-Shirt
$85 – Team Paterno Bronze (in honor of Paterno’s years of life) - Memorial Long Sleeved T‐Shirt and Paterno Tribute Coffee Mug from Dunkin Donuts.
$239 – Team Paterno Silver (the number of Paterno-coached players drafted into the NFL) - Special Memorial Long Sleeved T‐Shirt and Paterno Tribute 48 x 53 fleece stadium blanket.
$409 – Team Paterno Gold (in honor of Paterno’s NCAA record career wins) - Special Memorial Long Sleeved T‐Shirt and an invitation for you (plus one guest) to attend an exclusive breakfast with the Paterno Family and PSU Football alumni the morning of the event.
$548 – Team Paterno Platinum (in honor of Paterno’s career games coached) - Receive all Gold Level items, plus a Paterno Tribute Hooded Sweatshirt.
In 2011, the Beaver Stadium 5K Run/Family Fun Walk included more than 1,600 runners and walkers, raising more than $86,000.
Registration for the run/walk before April 13 costs $25 per person or $20 per person for a family of five or more. Registration after April 13 up until the day of the run/walk costs $35 per person or $25 per person for a family of five or more. A T-shirt and entry into Beaver Stadium on race day costs $20 or $10 without the shirt.