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by Zach Smith, CWU Publicity Center

Running is a great way to stay in shape. At Central, however, students run for more than personal fitness—they run for the well being of others. There’s a pair of 5k’s on the calendar this quarter, and both of them benefit worthy causes.

The Homecoming 5k Saturday, Oct. 13 will help fight breast cancer in Kittitas County and the Behind the Badge 5k Saturday, Nov. 3 will assist the families of fallen and injured police officers.

“These 5k’s attract a lot of attention and they can attract attention to a cause,” said Eric Scott, interim associate director of University Recreation and Intramural and Special Events coordinator. “Everyone is really supportive of the causes and they have a good time.”

Homecoming 5k – Oct. 13
Ten dollars from each registration for the Homecoming 5k will go directly toward the cancer outreach program at the Kittitas Valley Community Hospital. Scott said last
year this event raised around $500—money that gave local women access to mammograms.

Julia Karns of the Kittitas County Public Health Department stressed the importance of early detection.

“By expanding screenings, we have reduced the mortality rate,” Karns said. “Early detection saves lives.”

She went on to say that annual screenings are crucial for women over 40 and that a lack of finances should never deter them from getting checked out.

“If you don’t have your health, you really have problems,” she continued. “Everyone has options… at some point, people have to take responsibility for their health.”

Funds raised from the Homecoming 5k will pay for mammograms for Kittitas County women who could otherwise not afford them. A mammogram could lead to early detection of breast cancer, increasing the chances of survival.

According to Kittitas County Public Health, over 40,000 women die each year from breast cancer and one in eight women will get breast cancer at some point in their lives. Help shrink this number by signing up for the Homecoming 5k at the Recreation Center front desk.

Behind the Badge 5k – Nov. 3
In times of need, people call the police. When the law enforcement community needs support, the Behind the Badge Foundation steps in. Scott said the inaugural Behind
the Badge 5k last year raised approximately $500 for the families of fallen and injured police officers.

Kit Ford, Behind the Badge Foundation executive director, said when tragedy strikes, Behind the Badge is there to help.

“If they need us, we’re usually on the scene within hours of the incident,” Ford said.

Proceeds from the Behind the Badge 5k will help the foundation offer a variety of services to both the family and the department of a fallen officer. Ford said helping can be as simple as taking the widow of a fallen officer out to coffee, or providing financial assistance for things like counseling and child care.

The foundation even pays for families to visit Washington D.C. during National Police Week, where every officer that died nationwide the previous year is honored. Behind the Badge does not limit itself to deceased officers either. They also help officers who were injured on the job. Even if an injured officer just needs some help with yard work, Behind the Badge will find a way to offer assistance.

“If they need something, all they need to do is ask,” Ford said.

Police officers are consistently putting themselves in the line of danger, and sometimes that can lead to tragic results. To help the families of these fallen officers, register for the Behind the Badge 5k at the Recreation Center.

Whether it is saving lives or inspiring hope—we all can make a difference, five kilometers at a time.

Contact: Eric Scotter,, 509-963-3511