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Beaver Stadium Run Raises Over $445,000 for Special Olympics

University, Park, Pennsylvania (WTAJ) – The Paterno Family Beaver Stadium run set a new record for funds raised for Sunday’s Special Olympics.

About 2,800 participants helped raise over $445,000 for the Special Olympics when they started running outside Beaver Stadium. Before the start, the eminent Penn Stater thanked the participants and delivered an encouraging speech, including Penn State head football coach James He Franklin.

“Whether you’re walking or running or jogging, I’m watching you all,” Franklin said. Please come see me.”

Pennsylvania State Athletic Director Pat Kraft also attended, his first time since coming to Happy Valley.

“This is a great event,” Kraft said. “It’s amazing that my family, Betsy, and the kids are just a few. We walk, but they walk ahead of me, so that’s good.”

Sue Paterno, the run’s organizer and wife of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, said it was her favorite event of the year.

“This is really the highlight of my year,” said Paterno. “We do a lot of Special Olympics events, and it brings us all together, and that is who we are. We are not special athletes, we are not special runners, we are not special No, everyone is special.”

Before the run began, organizers took time out to honor the life and legacy of former Penn State and NFL runback Franco Harris. Some runners donned Harris gear before finishing his 34-yard run at his line at Beaver Stadium.

“He’s always been a running spirit,” said Paterno. “He has been with us since his first run and his presence really helped our event.”

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Franco Harris’ wife, Dana Harris, took on the role of Franco, a high-fiving runner and walker who passed by during this year’s run.

“I said before that you don’t know Franco, you have to experience him,” said Dana Harris. “Because he didn’t know a stranger. I mean, I didn’t realize it.”

https://www.wtaj.com/sports/nittany-nation/beaver-stadium-run-raises-over-445000-for-special-olympics/ Beaver Stadium Run Raises Over $445,000 for Special Olympics

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