And they’re off! The 8th annual Tiger Dash, hosted by the Department of Physical Therapy (DPT) class of 2014, was a booming success with over 250 Pacific students, staff, and faculty joining together for a day of fitness and health recognition. With the greatest turn out so far, the 2013 Tiger Dash was a fun filled frenzy of activities. Featured at the Tiger Dash were several events such as a 5K run for adults around the Stockton campus as well as a half mile Cub Run for children, a health fair to promote physical fitness which featured booths hosted by local health related organizations and clinics, and a raffle with tons of great prizes. Proceeds for the Tiger Dash went to support the DPT class of 2014’s travel to Combined Sections Meeting (CSM), an annual meeting of professional and student physical therapists. Some of the proceeds also went to the local Stockton YMCA to promote health and well being in the community.

The 5k and half mile Cub Run were the main events of the Tiger Dash. With double the number of runners this year, the class had a lot on their hands. Chelsea Keys ’14, current DPT student and event coordinator said, “The worst part had to be the anticipation for the event and making sure everything came together for race day, but this was outweighed by the best part of the event which was the amazing turn out from the community and all the help from the students to put everything together.” A long time tradition here at Pacific, the Tiger Dash not only sponsors the entire class’ trip to the CSM, but it also helps to promote a healthy lifestyle within the Stockton community. Keys explained, “It’s a great opportunity for the students to work together and to get the community thinking about health and fitness. It was also a great way to give back to an organization like the YMCA.”

DPT students presents check to Mike Vann of YMCA.
DPT students present check to Mike Vann of YMCA.

So how exactly did the Stockton YMCA benefit from the Tiger Dash? Mike Vann, the YMCA program director was very pleased to announce that the YMCA received over $700 from the event. This money will go towards scholarships for families who are unable to pay for programming, like low income families who just can’t afford to put their kids in child care, sports teams, and the like. These families can simply fill out a scholarship application form to participate in YMCA activities. Vann explained the importance of these types of programs, “Children learn at a very early age to develop habits like reading books regularly, being physically active, doing hands-on things, experiencing the outdoors and learning life skills.” One of these life skills is swimming, which is particularly important in San Joaquin County as it has one of the highest drowning rates in California. Vann continued, “Life skills are essential in development. We don’t want to turn anyone away especially if it’s because they don’t have money.” Applying for a scholarship is a very easy task which yields an immeasurable benefit to the community.

When it comes to health and fitness, running is one way to support our active bodies. Running is great for the heart as well as the rest of the body. Exercise is critical in maintaining the health of our bodies and minds. Not only that, but exercising regularly helps reduce stress, and will perpetuate a long and healthy life. Keys gave some advice on improving health in the Stockton community, “We can improve health by starting with education—teaching people about the benefits of exercise and taking care of your body. By holding events like the Tiger Dash, we can bring the community together while promoting the value of a healthy lifestyle.”

The goal of the DPT class was to fundraise enough money to attend the American Physical Therapists Association (APTA) Combined Sections Meeting which is a phenomenal opportunity for these young professionals. CSM allows them to connect with students and professionals that are passionate about physical therapy. The DPT class will also be able to learn about new and innovative therapy techniques, as well as hear about the latest equipment and research in the constantly evolving profession. And did the PT Tigers reach their goal? Absolutely. The Tiger Dash enabled the class of 2014 to attend the CSM with no costs for flights or hotel rooms. Keys exclaimed, “We are very thankful for the donations we received and we are all very happy about the turn out for the event!”


By Alin Kim '14, BUS
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