DePauw University nature park hosts first annual Reindeer Run/Walk 5K

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Senior Isaac Seppel makes announcements before the start of the race.
The 5k was put on by the DePauw University Chapter
of Mortar Board and the Putnam County Giving Tree.
SAM CARAVANA / THE DEPAUW

On Saturday morning, about 100 runners and walkers, plus many other supporters, endured the chilly December weather in the DePauw Nature Park to participate in the First Annual Reindeer Run/Walk 5K. The event was organized by the DePauw chapter of Mortar Board in partnership with Giving Tree; the goal's event was to raise funds to provide a Christmas experience to children in need in the Putnam County community.

Over $1200 was raised that will go toward providing both necessities and treats to families in need this holiday season; the event did not have a registration fee, so all funds raised came in the form of donations at the event. The event date was chosen to go along with the time of year when Giving Tree does most of its work, according to Mortar Board member and senior Rachel Hanebutt.

Gift cards for top race finishers and most elaborate costume were stuffed into mini stockings to match the festive theme of the event. Senior and Mortar Board president Isaac Seppel was pleased with the way the community got involved with this event.

“As opposed to having a campus event that's mainly comprised of students, we succeeded in branching out and creating a tradition that will unite the community,” he says.

He hopes that future Mortar Board groups will continue the tradition the class of 2015 started with this race. He foresees that planning for future events will be easier because his efforts and the efforts of his collaborators can serve as a roadmap. He also hopes that someday the Reindeer Run will be able to completely fund Giving Tree’s annual needs.