In loving memory of Deb Andress,They arrived early, all of them ready to hit the pavement. Sunglasses abound, water bottles everywhere, watches being adjusted to keep time. On this beautiful Saturday morning, one which the Abington area had not seen in a while, runners from all over, young and old came together for Penn State’s first annual 5k. As vendors set up tables, runners signed in to get their bibs and everyone busy to get ready, you wonder what incited this kind of support. What were all of these people rallying behind? When you think of Deb Andress you think of inspiration, and that’s exactly why over 250 alumni, students, faculty and friends showed up for the first annual 5k Run, hosted by Penn State Abington. It was a great day to run and remember this person who inspired excellence in the hearts of so many.Upon beginning the race, Penn State Abington’s own Norah Shultz- Senior Associate Dean of Academic Affairs-delivered the opening address. Breaking the ice with her humor and encouraging the runners and walkers to do the best that they could everyone was set to go. Next, John Andress, Deb’s husband, welcomed everyone and too delivered his encouragement and thanks. As the runners lined up, and got ready you could feel the build up of excitement as everyone wanted to be first to move down Huntingdon road and get the 5k under way. With the loud cry of the horn the runners were off. Penn State Abington’s own cross country runners were the first to cross the finish line. The race continued to move on as runners were encouraged to finish strong by Penn State’s cross country coach Jose Rodriguez.Among the first of those to cross the finish line was Penn State Abington’s cross country runners, followed by friends and Family of Penn Stater’s and students. Everyone came together for a short period of time to converse which then led to the passing out of first, second and third place winners for the men and women who participated. Overall the Penn State Run at Abington was a beautiful event. As we remembered Deb and raise money to be donated to the athletic and education department, runners stated how much they looked forward to coming out next year and doing it again!Penn State would like share a special thanks to all of Deb’s family for coming out and sharing in her spirit and to our sponsors: Enterprise Car Rentals, Whole Foods, Caddick Construction and the Abington Police Department. We also would like to acknowledge the tireless efforts of the organizing committee: Shaun Babula, Ann Martinelli, Joe Pavlow and Jose Rodriguez. To date, more than $10,000 has been raised to benefit the community services provided by our Education Club as well as athletic programs at Abington. As we move on to next year, runners and walkers alike, will never forget Deb and all she did for the college, all those who came together to volunteer and more than anything, remembering that We Are… PENN STATE.
If you were unable to attend but would still like to donate you can do so here.
By: Ryan Douglas