Special Education Club Hosts 6th Annual 5K

April 8, 2018
GMercyU Special Education 5K

Gwynedd Mercy University's Special Education Club hosted the 6th Annual Alex Valeno Exceptional Persons 5K on Sunday, April 8. Despite the chilly weather, more than 50 registrants participated in the 5K, which looped around GMercyU's Gwynedd Valley campus. 

The annual event is in honor of Alex Valeno, a former GMercyU special education student who died in 2013 from a pre-existing heart condition. Alex was co- president of the special education club at the time, and her fellow club members designated the 5K in her honor that year. Since then, the walk has been known as the Alex Valeno Exceptional Persons 5K, and it has been steadily growing.

In addition to the 5K, the Special Education Club dedicated a bench to Alex that will sit at the heart of campus at GMercyU's Bell Tower. The money raised from this year's walk will be donated to three different organizations - Philadelphia Children’s Foundation, Philly FUNDamentals and The Autism Institute.

"The Alex Valeno Exceptional Persons 5k Walk/Run is a beautiful event the Special Education Club organizes to fundraise money in order to give back to the community and more specifically, Exceptional Persons Organizations in/around the area,” GMercyU Education student Melissa Russo said.

"In doing so, our club honors and remembers a very special individual who was an active member of the club and the GMercyU Community. We hold her presence in our hearts and strive to make the race as amazing and memorable as possible from year-to-year," Russo said. 

This year, the 5K is part of the week-long celebration leading up to the Presidential Inauguration of Deanne H. D’Emilio, JD as the sixth president of Gwynedd Mercy University on Friday, April 13. Learn more about the Presidential Inauguration events!