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Paterno Family Stadium Run sees biggest turnout yet

The Blue and White weekend activities ended with the annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run. The run broke records from previous years. (WJAC)

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The Blue and White weekend activities ended with the annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run. The run broke records from previous years.

Over 3,500 runners participated, the most this event has ever seen.

And out of the thousands of people running, there was one family who loves this event so much it's become a tradition.

Thousands of people gathered to participate in the ninth annual Paterno Family Beaver Stadium Run for the Special Olympics.

""We started to raise funds because we need lots of money to have summer games, fall games and winter games and run all our county programs," organizer Sue Paterno said.

Runners participated in either a 5K run or a 2-mile walk Sunday.

The proceeds from the event benefit Special Olympics Pennsylvania.

"We need the money. That's our prime target but also the exposure it gives to special athletes, and it's breaking down a lot of walls and people are more understanding," Paterno said.

Some residents said the event has become a fun family tradition.

"The families come and, I don’t know, they just seem to bond so much," Paterno said.

"It's a great cause for Special Olympics and it’s a great thing to do with family in the springtime in the Happy Valley," participant Peter Manion said.

The Manion family has been participating for three years now.

"It's fun to spend time with the family and go out and exercise," Duncan Manion, Peter's son, said.

"I really enjoy coming out here and just walking," other son of Peter, Logan Manion, said.

The race went through Penn State's campus and ended on the 50-yard line at Beaver Stadium.

"It's a lot of fun, finishing on the field,” Peter Manion said. “And we just have a great time."

According to organizers, the event has raised over $2.5 million within the last nine years.

Logan, 10, knows some of the people who compete in the Special Olympics. He said he's excited to come out and help raise money for them.

"It just feels great," Logan said.

This year, the event raised over $450,000. Paterno said the family plans to continue this annual event and have more people attend next year.

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