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The Appalachian

The Student News Site of Appalachian State University

The Appalachian

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The Appalachian

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‘Neerly Naked Mile helps donate to The Hospitality House

Homecoming week is off to a running start after the annual ‘Neerly Naked Mile.  The entrance of the Plemmons Student Union was bustling with people wearing bathing suits, short shorts and a Grinch costume to start the event.

“The point is to represent the idea of somebody not having enough clothing to sustain the winter,” said Molly McLauchlan, the ‘Neerly Naked Mile coordinator.

People climbed trees to get a better look at the leg power tearing through campus. Meanwhile, racers were warming up by racing each other and snapping pictures with Yosef. 

“My favorite part was everybody being so excited at the starting line,” said McLauchlan. Tori Rodriguez announced the start of the race and the balloon decorations tag along with the racers.

“Enjoying it with the group you came with and understanding that you gave back to people in need today is how you can make the most out of the mile,” said Hope Jordan, an Appalachian State Ambassador who attended the event as a volunteer checking in racers.

The ‘Neerly Naked Mile is a fundraiser put together by the App State Ambassadors in support for the Hospitality House. Last year the mile was able to raise around $420 and 295 winter clothing items. 

“During a cold snap on Christmas eve, we had up to 150 people in the building,” said Tori Rodriguez, the emergency shelter housing specialist for the Hospitality House.

To run the mile, participants have to bring a blanket, jacket or a $5 donation. According to Rodriguez, these donations help supply clothes and blankets for the hundreds of homeless individuals that come through their doors throughout the winter. 

“They [outreach coordinators] are able to bring food boxes, blankets and things like that to people who are camping outside,” said Rodriguez.

The donations are also used to supply housing, food boxes and warm clothes for those who have to camp out. The outreach coordinators go to seven different counties to hand out these items to people who are living in campsites.

They also work on housing and case management with people who aren’t staying at the Hospitality House. 

“It’s important to understand what other people in the community are going through,” said Jordan.

While there are no official winners, the Ambassadors had free water and snacks as their trophy. With other homecoming kickoff events happening on Sanford Mall, s’mores, prizes and cornhole were available to participants after crossing the finish line.

“We enjoy the community aspect of so many people participating from everywhere and coming together for a common goal,” said a group of Alpha Delta Pi members after finishing the mile. 

At the end of the race, the Ambassadors had 14 bags and one bin full of warm clothes.

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About the Contributor
Lorelei Roberts
Lorelei Roberts, Reporter
Hi, I’m Lorelei (the poem is better than Gilmore Girls). I’m a transfer junior from Richlands, NC studying Digital Journalism and minoring in creative engagement and social change. My cat Thibault is my pride and joy!
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