Alumnus puts heart into charitable effort for organ recovery

Craig Smith plans to compete in the inaugural 5K on Aug. 6 while wearing a giant heart costume.

In an attempt to raise awareness for organ donation, one Penn State alumnus will be wearing a giant heart mascot costume during a 5K in August.

“I always tell people I hate being the center of attention unless I want to, and then I’m really good at it,” said 2010 journalism graduate Craig Smith.

Smith, who received a heart transplant in October 2015, and a friend set up the first annual Second Chance 5K on Aug. 6 in their hometown of Johnstown. All proceeds from the event will go directly to CORE, the Center for Organ Recovery & Education. Following the race, there will be a gathering with food, beverages, a 50/50 drawing, raffle items and other events.

While the 5K was a big step to start raising awareness, Smith said it has already “outgrown itself.” The pair has formed their own nonprofit organization called Second Chance Fundraising. They hope in the future they can set up golf tournaments, build scholarships for students and more to raise money for the cause. Continue reading
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