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March 7, 2018 The Signal page 15

Features

Pace / Students train for marathon across US

Runners work to raise money for cancer patients continued from page 1 Ravikumar’s fundraising page and Okun’s fundraising page are currently at about the halfway mark toward this fundraising goal. After reaching out to family members and friends for donations, Ravikumar and Okun have started to reach out to companies and small businesses to provide additional donations. “I think it’s really cool that we get this opportunity to not just run for ourselves, but also run to help others and make a difference,” Okun said. None of the money Okun and Ravikumar raise will be used during their 49-day run, as all of the money will go directly to cancer patients. It will be up to them, along with the rest of the group, to cover their own

“I think it’s really cool that we get this opportunity to not just run for ourselves, but also run to help others and make a difference.” —Alana Okun

Ulman Cancer Fund runner

expenses throughout the trip. The group will be asking for donations from small businesses and restaurants for their meals, according to Ravikumar and Okun. A group of 30 individuals, dubbed Team Boston as a nod to the team’s final destination, come from all across the country. Although Team Boston has a GroupMe, a Snapchat group and other means of communication, they will not meet in person until they begin their run. “We spend 49 days completely with them, so it’s going to be interesting. They all seem really awesome and I’m excited to get to know them,” Ravikumar said. Ravikumar and Okun were both introduced to the UCF by friends in their respective hometowns. While they are friends at the College, they signed up to run across the country with the UCF together purely by coincidence and both joined Team Boston before either one realized that the other was participating. Coordinators are available to help participants prepare for the run, and make sure that each person will be capable of keeping up with the group’s pace. Okun explained that on Jan. 1, training logs were sent out so participants to can keep track of their progress to see if they are “on par” with the rest of the group. “These training logs also provide an idea of how many rest days to take and a general idea of what you should be doing to prepare for this run,” Okun said. Each participant is expected to run an average of 13 miles per day, though participants can run anywhere between 6-16 miles a day, according to the UCF. The group will also be traveling with

Photo courtesy of Alana Okun

Okun (left) and Ravikumar (right) are eager to run for charity. two vans and will be split up during the day, according to Okun. One group drives ahead while the rest of the group runs until they meet up at a lunch destination, and then the roles are reversed for the second half of the day. There will be 10 rest days interspersed within the 49-day marathon, during which runners will have the opportunity to visit hospitals and meet cancer patients, according to Okun. Participants will also have a chance to give out scholarships with the money that is raised. “We present the scholarships to the

cancer patients,” Okun said. “We’re actually in the process of reading through the applications … and we get to decide who gets to be the finalists.” The run from San Francisco to Boston will give Okun, Ravikumar and the rest of Team Boston a chance to meet new people, have new experiences and make a difference for families that have been affected by cancer. “I think it will be a really cool perspective to actually be in the towns and not see them as a tourist … you get to really interact with the community … I’m really excited about that,” Okun said.

Students compete in Mr. Pan Asian Alliance pageant

By Gianna Melillo Copy Editor

The T/W Lounge was adorned with streamers, balloons and banners as the College’s Asian culture organizations co-hosted the third annual Mr. Pan Asian Alliance pageant on Friday, March 2.

One contestant from each of the five organizations strutted their stuff to compete for the prestigious title, all the while representing a charity selected by their organization. Many organizations were represented, including the College’s Chinese Student Association, Japanese Student Association,

Meagan McDowell / Photo Editor

Contestants answer questions about cultural identity.

Korean Student Association, Asian-American Association and Barkada organization all were represented by one male contestant. All of the night’s proceeds, which totaled over $575, went to various global charities. This was the biggest sum raised in the event’s three-year history. “A lot of the talents are cultural based. We really want to educate and spread awareness of all the different cultures,” said Alexa Sia, a senior nursing major and current president of Barkada, a Filipino organization. Sia is proud of Barkada’s choice to donate its proceeds to a shelter for children in the Philippine province of Cebu. Other organizations selected charities that empower people with disabilities, provide medical and educational aid or provide disaster relief. The entry charge for the event was $3. Throughout the night, attendees could donate to each individual organization’s charity by entering a raffle. At the end of the night, the proceeds for each raffle were calculated and points were added to the final score of each contestant, depending on who got the most donations throughout the night. Five, 10

and 15 points were added to the score of three respective contestants with the most donations. A panel of five judges assessed the performances. Alumna Jessica Perez (’15), was among those selected to pick the winner of the evening. “I was contacted by the current Asian-American Alliance president … The AAA was a very big part of my college experience,” Perez said. Each contestant went through various rounds of the competition, including a question and answer period and formal wear section, where each contestant wore a traditional garment representative of their association’s Asian country. A talent section included performances in hip-hop and Bachata dancing, a song and dance routine to music from “Mulan” and even a cooking demonstration. Each contestant then went on to perform in the cultural talent portion of the evening. Traditional drum performances took place alongside ribbon dancing and a reenactment of a Korean soap opera. Senior elementary education and psychology double major

Eileen Change, enjoyed experiencing the variety of Asian cultures with her friends. “I heard about the event through friends. It’s really great how all the organizations came together,” Change said. The crowd went wild as each contestant performed. The competition was fierce and in the final portion of the evening, each contestant was called up on stage to answer questions regarding their Asian identities. Each contestant gave a moving answer to the questions, but was then forced to switch gears to answer trick questions from the hosts. As the raffle winners’ names were drawn, the judges deliberated and tallied up their scores. In the end, Calvin Potter, a freshman chemistry major, took home the title of Mr. Pan Asian Alliance as a representative of the Korean Student Association. Potter’s organization raised $92 through the raffle alone, thus adding 15 points onto his final score. “It feels really great to win,” Potter said, as adoring fans surrounded him. “But it’s not about winning. It’s about being here with everyone tonight.”

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The Signal: Spring '18 No. 7  

The 03/07/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper

The Signal: Spring '18 No. 7  

The 03/07/18 issue of The Signal, The College of New Jersey's student newspaper

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