The Big Chill
Last Saturday, more than 7,000 Rutgers students, alumni, faculty and guests gathered on the College Avenue campus to take part in the annual "The Big Chill" 5-kilometer.
"The Big Chill" is a philanthropic event where participants can run, walk or otherwise travel a specific 3.1 mile course laid out on the College Avenue campus. Runners traveled southeast down College Avenue, turning to take George Street to a scenic path through Buccleuch Park, and then finally taking down Sicard Street back to College Avenue.
The event fundraises and collects toys for children ages 3 to 14. Participants must bring a new toy valued at $15 or more or a $15 contribution to enter. The toys collected are then wrapped by a group of student volunteers the following Monday and are sent to various organizations, such as the Salvation Army of Bound Brook and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, according to the Rutgers Recreation website.
University Chancellor Debasish Dutta, who ran alongside participants on the cold Saturday morning, said the purpose of the "The Big Chill" is to show the big heart of Rutgers and its students and to give back to the children of the local community. More than 80,000 toys have been donated since the event began back in 2002, and Rutgers will continue to grow that number in the years to come, he said.