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Santa has a brand new bag - Odessa American: Education

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Santa has a brand new bag

Fun run is SIP fundraiser at UTPB

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  • Santa Fun Run

    Santa cheers on the runners at last year's Santa Fun Run held by University of Texas Permian Basin's Students in Philanthropy.

Posted: Friday, November 15, 2019 12:33 pm

Run, run, Rudolph — and all you other reindeer, too — Santa’s gotta make it to town.

For the second year in a row, UTPB’s Students in Philanthropy will hold its Santa Fun Run to wrap up its fall fund-raising efforts.

The event is set for 9 a.m. Dec. 7 at UTPB’s Outer Loop.

“The fun run is our last deal of the year, our last big fund-raiser,” SIP member Miranda Milwee said. “Last year was the first time we did this, and this year it’s going to be even bigger based on how many people we’re letting in.”

To enter the run, visit bit.ly/utpbfunrun. Entry fee is $20 per person and $10 for UTPB students. A registration form must be filled out and an event ticket must be purchased through Eventbrite in order to participate in the run, according to the event’s website.

Participants are encouraged to dress up as their favorite holiday character, be it reindeer, elf, nutcracker or even Santa Claus himself. All runners who preregister online will receive a free Santa hat.

Milwee, a senior biology major from Odessa, said wearing costumes adds to the festive atmosphere of the event.

“It’s not meant to be a serious run,” Milwee said. “We don’t advertise it as that. Last year’s winners were serious runners, people who always compete and run cross country. And we had (UTPB President Sandra Woodley) there with her dog. She was walking along.”

Proceeds from the fun run benefit local non-profit organizations.

According to the fun run’s website, Students in Philanthropy is a product of an initiative by the Abell-Hanger Foundation in Midland. Each fall semester, SIP members raise funds through a series of events. The Abell-Hanger Foundation matches raised funds and in the spring, members distribute funds to local non-profit organizations through a grant-application process. Students in Philanthropy members participate in events like Christmas in Action, the Salvation Army Bell Ringing, and Hunt for Heroes.

“During the fall semester, we do a lot of fund-raisers,” Milwee said. “We’ve done t-shirt sales or KrispyKreme Doughnuts sales. We’ve done various things. We’ve partnered with restaurants (working as servers for a portion of the proceeds).

“In the spring semester, we give away all the money that we’ve raised. That’s really cool because the Abell-Hanger Foundation will match whatever we raise. If we raise $10,000, Abell-Hanger will match that and we’ll give away $20,000.”

The Students in Philanthropy program was begun by the Abell-Hanger Foundation in 1997 at Midland College and expanded to UTPB in 2001. The program now includes Odessa College as well as high school chapters at Odessa High, Permian, Midland High, Midland Lee and Greenwood.

“The goal is to raise great philanthropists, whether that be volunteering, giving their own money or giving their assets long-term or short-term,” Cristy Batte, SIP coordinator at UTPB, said. “We’re trying to help these students be good board members when they’re in life and help them give back to their community whatever level they’re at.”

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