WSUSA’s Senate hosted the annual Nearly Naked Mile on Nov. 10. The charity run acts as a drive for clothing and canned food for St. Anne’s homeless shelter and Weber Cares.
In total, the event raised 86 donations, with Tau Psi Beta as the highest donor of 38 and Study Abroad trailing with 33. A total of 41 runners and 23 volunteers participated.
WSUSA Senate President Parker Hughes said the participants and donations from this year had a similar total to last year’s event. Despite having participated for two years previously, Diversity and Unity Vice President Salim Ben Khalifa felt something was special about this year’s event.
“I felt that there were more (clubs and organizations) being represented, more participants and more diversity in the runners, making it more special than the past years,” Khalifa said.
A motivating factor for the increased club representation and diverse runners was the $100 in funding for the club that donated the most clothing or canned food. But, for students like Shelby McAlister, the real motivation was the opportunity for charity.
“I just barely moved here and some friends told me about this event,” McAlister said. “I wouldn’t do the race if it wasn’t for a good cause and if there wasn’t a donation.”
Other participants, like three-time runner Allison Qualls, felt the same way as McAlister, while also enjoying the opportunity to meet new volunteers.
“Knowing that we are all running for a good cause in 30-degree temperatures outside makes this event special to me,” Qualls said.
Other students offered suggestions for improvement. Uriel Castillo, who participated in the event last year, said the run didn’t receive as much promotion this time as in prior years.
“I feel like if they put more posters around campus earlier or something, it would be better because they would have more runners,” Castillo said.
While Hughes said there are plans to advertise more for next year’s event, this year was promoted through new advertisers. These included a Facebook video as well as sponsorships with Coca-Cola and Kind Bar.
“We were fortunate enough to receive water bottles from Coca-Cola and Kind Bars for the runners after the race,” Hughes said. “This year, we had a new energy compared to last year’s event because the advertisement made this event more of a staple.”
Hughes added that the new energy also came from the representation of the clubs, with the Greeks as a highlight, and how the event was a win for both Weber State and the Ogden Community.
The winners of the event were Paul Gaona, James West and James Jenson, respectively. They each won a gift card of $25, $15 and $10 for first, second and third place. Other winners were Rebecca Schwartz for craziest costume and Salim Ben Khalifa for the most Weber Spirit.