Sticking up for Campus Safety, INTO WSU Staff shine

We always encourage INTO staff to use their volunteering days for something close to their hearts, and this is…

Sticking up for Campus Safety, INTO WSU Staff shine

11 Oct 2019

We always encourage INTO staff to use their volunteering days for something close to their hearts, and this is certainly what Linda Mittelhammer, Alison LaRoza and Steffani Davis did at INTO Washington State University. They used their paid volunteering time to help at a local 5k run, raising funds for the Lauren McCluskey Foundation. (

The foundation was formed in memory of Lauren McCluskey who was murdered on the campus of the University of Utah in 2018. She was a student at the university, and a promising young track athlete. Her parents, who are both professors at Washington State University, wanted to provide a legacy which makes a lasting difference in helping improve campus security. This was the main focus of the 5k event held on 5th October, aptly named: The Lauren McCluskey Race for Campus Safety.  

The event kicked off at 9am, with 193 runners lined up in the brisk autumnal weather. The run was in keeping with the mission of the Lauren McCluskey foundation which aims to support and champion athletic pursuits, due to Lauren’s love for track athletics. As well as athletics, and campus safety, the foundation’s third focus is animal welfare- again a passion of Lauren’s. After the race was completed, a wing at the Whitman County Humane Society was dedicated to Lauren. To round the day off, a tree and memorial plaque were placed in the WSU campus arboretum and a dinner was held at Palouse Ridge Golf Course.

The volunteers helped in marshalling the event and registering the runners. They also prepared goody bags for all the competitors, were there for the set up and the tear down and to top it all off they even photographed the day’s events!

Steffani Anderson, who shared how deeply affected she and many others have been by the tragic loss of Lauren said of the day:

“My small amount of volunteering will never match up to what this family has had to go through… Her light will shine on as we help to make other’s heard.  The highlight of the day was watching Lauren’s father, brother, grandfather, classmates, teammates and coaches participate in the race and run the 5K, I am sure Lauren was running right beside them all.”

Alison LaRoza went above and beyond in assisting for the event. Her work began two months before in the development and preparation of the race. In addition to coordinating the 30 volunteers, she developed marketing materials, spoke on the local radio station’s morning show twice, created the event’s t-shirts to sell as another fundraising opportunity, and developed/purchased the awards for the winners of the different classes competing.

All of Alison’s hard work paid off she is pleased to say: “It was amazing, and the event went off without a hitch! We couldn’t be happier!” Adding: “The Pullman community has been so supportive of the McCluskey family during this tragedy, we are so lucky to live in such a caring community! I truly feel blessed.”

This amazing event, which honours the memory of Lauren as well as raising funds for so many causes close to her heart, really shows what can happen when people dedicate their time to a shared cause. The incredible INTO WSU employees contributed to this, and we at INTO Giving are extremely proud to see the difference paid volunteering days can make.

Photo Credit: Kevin Armentrout Photography 

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