Running with Nuns

By Natalie Hoelzel

On Oct. 3, Youngstown students and residents are welcome to attend “The Nun Run” — a 5k marathon to benefit those affected by HIV/AIDS that will be held at The Ursuline Center in Canfield.

The Ursuline Sisters of Youngstown, a religious organization that helps northeastern Ohio citizens in need, formed the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry and will sponsor the run.

The ministry provides services to adults and children infected with or affected by HIV/AIDS at three locations: the Ursuline Motherhouse and Educational Center in Canfield; Casa Madre, the children’s program site on Youngstown’s south side; and the Comprehensive Care Center in the Oak Hill Renaissance Place.

Dan Wakefield, special projects coordinator of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, came up with the idea for the run in order to bring the community together.

“I was trying to think of something that was a family-friendly event that would allow people of all ages to come and have a good time,” Wakefield said.

Kathleen Minchin, the co-founder of the Ursuline Sisters HIV/AIDS Ministry, expressed her support of Wakefield’s notion.

“Dan Wakefield is a runner, and when he proposed the idea to us, we all got on board,” Minchin said. “Dan is in charge, and we do whatever he wants us to do in order to improve the quality of the event.”

Participants are able to take part in a raffle during the race where they will be able to win gift baskets and other prizes.

First, second and third place awards will be issued at the end of the race.

Kelly Dahman, a Youngstown State University student who works at the Ursuline Motherhouse, encourages everyone in the Mahoning Valley to run in the race.

“I am not by any means a runner. I don’t usually participate in 5ks or fun runs, but this one is special,” Dahman said. “It is for a local organization that makes such a big impact in ways we aren’t even aware of.”

The cost of registration is $20 before Oct. 2 and $25 the day of the run. Currently, 110 people are signed up for the run.

All proceeds from the event will be used to help children in the Mahoning Valley who struggle with hunger, as well as those afflicted with AIDS.