The annual community event raised $6,500 for Elon’s pro bono physical therapy clinic and partnered with Special Olympics for the day.  

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5K, Fun Run & Health Expo generates support for HOPE Clinic 

The annual community event raised $6,500 for Elon’s pro bono physical therapy clinic and partnered with Special Olympics for the day.  

Elon’s H.O.P.E. Clinic hosted its 5th annual Walk, Roll, and Run 5K on Saturday, March 23, to raise funds for the operation of its pro bono physical therapy clinic. This race was part of the Piedmont Race Series, in partnership with Dick’s Sporting Goods. Each year it is open to athletes of all mobility levels. Prizes for the top three finishers in each age group were supplied by Dick’s.

For the first time, a 1-mile Fun Run Event was featured before the 5K. During the eight weeks preceding the event, Doctor of Physical Therapy Program students partnered with the Special Olympics athletes in the SO Fit program. For one and a half hours per week, students worked with their athlete on themes such as emotional, social, and nutritional wellness.                

“I loved SO fit! I looked forward to working with my Special Olympics buddy every week," said Kelsey Hocevar, a third-year DPT student. "He taught me so much about being joyful always and enjoying life more! It was a great experience getting creative with ways to make exercise fun for them. I highly recommend getting involved with this organization if you are an Elon student.”  

“At the very core of Physical Therapy is patient education and the SO Fit program was a perfect way to help educate a group in health and wellness that really had an impact," said another third-year student, Ann Marie Wilson, as she reflected on her experience. "I looked forward to meeting up with my SO Fit buddy every week to hear how excited she was to hit her weekly goals based on the wellness lesson from the week before. I may have been there to help educate, but I learned a lot from this experience. The Fun Run was a fantastic way to celebrate the accomplishments of our athletes over the past eight weeks.”

These Special Olympics Athletes completed the Fun Run with DPT students to reinforce health and wellness as a part of their lifestyle.

In addition to the 5K and one-mile fun run, the event featured a Health and Fitness Expo. Local vendors, resources, and businesses from the community set up shop at the finish line. Baconnessance food truck, Pelican’s SnowBalls and Tropical Smoothie, and many more were on site for participants to partake in. Natural Bridges Rehabilitation, operated by Elon Physical Therapy graduate Jeff Shoup, offered free running screenings to participants before and after the race.  

The money raised from the event will be put towards operations of the H.O.P.E. Clinic: Health Outreach Program of Elon as its aim to expand to better serve the community. The mission of the clinic is to improve the health and wellbeing of the under-served populations in Alamance County and surrounding areas by providing quality physical therapy treatment and fostering student community service and clinical experience.

The H.O.P.E. Clinic offers free physical therapy services to those who are uninsured or underinsured in Alamance County and surrounding areas. The clinic is a student-run pro bono clinic that is managed and operated by Elon Doctor of Physical Therapy students. The clinic has run on a weekly basis since November 2013 and was the first student-run pro bono clinic in North Carolina.

Elon DPTE students treat individuals with various musculoskeletal and neurological impairments under the supervision of volunteer licensed clinicians from the faculty and from the community. The H.O.P.E. Clinic is a chance for Elon DPTE students to improve their clinical skills outside of their scheduled clinical rotations, an outlet for licensed physical therapists to mentor students and provide pro bono service, as well as an opportunity to provide high-quality free health care to residents of our local community.

Photography for the event was generously provided by Bailey Beck Media and can be found at this site: