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Monster Mash Dash: a 5K for a community cause

This coming Sunday, SGA is hosting its annual Monster Mash 5K Dash! The race will begin at 11 a.m. on Seavern’s Field (the football field). It is a Halloween-themed event, so over 30 participants will be tackling this spooky 5K dressed up in their costumes. 

Sophie Broesamle `27, a member of the volleyball team and a native of Seattle, is excited to be a part of this event during her first year here at the College. 

“I used to go on a big run around my neighborhood every Sunday . . . [but] I’ve never done a group run like this before,” Broesamle said. “I’m excited to do an official, organized run like this!” 

Broesamle is planning on repping a narwhal onesie, which she hopes will be a good pick to survive the sweat of the relatively long dash. 

SGA has teamed up with Colby Recreation to help organize this event, which has become an annual tradition. Rather than asking participants to pay a registration fee, SGA instead requests that runners donate to a charitable organization.

This year, the Essentials Closet has been named as the designated cause, which is a charity run by the Waterville United Church of Christ. The church’s website describes the Essentials Closet as a “resource for folks who need personal care and household items.” Those who are in need of said items are invited to visit the church, which is located on the lower level of The Elm at 21 College Avenue, once a month to collect their essentials. These materials include, but are not limited to, toiletries, laundry detergent, and cleaning supplies. 

According to the Essentials Closet’s online brochure, the charity has helped over 1,650 people gain access to vital hygienic resources. Unfortunately Essentials Closet does “not receive funding from the federal, state, or local government[s].”

Lack of official funding means that this organization can not provide such generous services without the donations of some nearby good samaritans, which is why SGA wants Colby’s dash-runners to contribute to the cause. 

When asked about giving directly to the Essentials Closet, Broesamle said, “I think it’s an awesome idea.” She added, “the Essentials Closet is a great cause, and it feels good to give back to the [place] that I now call home.” 

Broesamle also made the good point that people can donate based on what they can afford; there is no set, required amount. She said that this makes the race feel “more accessible” for those who feel like “they can’t spend too much extra money,” but still want to contribute to a community organization.

Giving back to the community has been a common theme at the College in recent years, with President David Greene aiming to integrate the College into the developing city of Waterville as often as possible. In his presidential statement on his Colby profile, Greene specifically credits the College’s efforts which have created “a partnership with the city of Waterville that is resulting in a … surge of philanthropic momentum.”

Anna Rosenfeld `27, who also plans on participating in the dash, loves this “philanthropic momentum” and appreciates how Colby has been trying to make an effort to involve themselves more within the city. 

“I really like the relationship that Colby has decided to make with the Waterville community, mostly because it benefits both parties.” Rosenfeld added, “Colby students get to do volunteer/donation work, which is very fulfilling, and, in turn, the community gets a college with kids that are so willing to be integrated.” 

Given her appreciation for Colby-Waterville ties, Rosenfeld thinks it’s fantastic that the 5K is directly supporting the Essentials Closet, which is Waterville-based.

“It’s a local charity so we get to feed back into the Waterville community with something fun on campus.”

And fun it will be. Rosenfeld plans on running with a group of friends dressed as different members of the NESCAC. She hopes that her Middlebury costume won’t generate too much dislike from other runners or supporters.

For those who still wish to sign up for the race, there is a link available in the SGA newsletters that have been sent out recently via email. 

SGA knows that not everyone likes to run, so for students who still wish to participate without the physical activity aspect, volunteer spots are still available. The link to volunteer can also be found in SGA’s latest emails. 

Regardless of involvement in the race, students can always donate directly to the Essentials Closet if they so please. The organization appreciates monetary contributions but also takes in-person item donations. Donations are accepted between the hours of 8 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Wednesday through Friday, as well as Sunday.

Need inspiration for what to donate? The Waterville United Church of Christ website suggests bringing hygienic products such as bath soap, deodorant, shampoo, toilet paper, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, and shaving cream. Please note that the Essentials Closet is only open for the last two full weeks of each month, so donate accordingly.


~ Amelia Hanscom `27

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