Indiana University Kokomo

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KOKOMO, Ind. — An Indiana University Kokomo Alumni Association (IUKAA) Scholarship gives Brittany Royer a chance to focus on academics and student activities.

Old Ben 5K Run/WalkOld Ben 5K Run/Walk"I truly value the opportunities this scholarship gives me," she said. "Studying to earn good grades takes a lot of time. This scholarship is a blessing, because it provides time to study, rather than work, and to be involved on campus. I truly value the opportunities this scholarship makes possible."

Local runners can help provide those scholarships, by participating in the annual Old Ben 5K Run/Walk, which steps off at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 8, at Highland Park. Online registration is open through Friday, February 28, at iuk.edu/oldben

Greater participation in the last few years means increased scholarships for students like Royer, a senior from Rossville.

"We used to give one $500 scholarship annually," said Ryan Bowman, director of alumni relations and campus ceremonies. "Now we can give five $750 scholarships each year. We appreciate our sponsors and our participants, who make that possible."

Royer maintains a 3.8 GPA and serves as vice president of the Student Alumni Association, and said the scholarship makes those possible.

Student body President Brian Arwood, Peru, also appreciates the support from an IUKAA scholarship.

"The IU Kokomo Alumni Association relieved a tremendous burden, and allowed me to focus on my classes, rather than how I was going to pay for college," he said. "I'm able to devote more time and attention to school, student organizations, and my family."

New to the event this year is Kingston's Kid Run, a one-fifth mile run for children 10 and younger, which starts at 8:30 a.m. Mascot Kingston Cougar plans to be there to encourage the kids in this run, Bowman said.

"The kids' run makes this a fun family event, and also promotes healthy lifestyles," Bowman said. "This starts a great tradition for many local running families to get their children involved while they are young."

The Old Ben 5K Walk/Run is the primary fundraiser for the IUKAA scholarships. Entry is $10 for the kids' run, and $15 for the 5K walk or run. Race day registration begins at 7:30 a.m., and is $20.

First Farmers Bank & Trust is presenting sponsor for the Old Ben 5K Run/Walk. Community Howard Regional Health sponsors Kingston's Kids Run. Additional sponsors are Golitko & Daly, the City of Kokomo, Kokomo Tribune, Hoosier AM/FM Radio Kokomo, and Regions Insurance.

Indiana University Kokomo serves north central Indiana.