Students raise funds for homeless ministry

The skies were stormy, but that didn’t deter runners from showing up to participate in a 5K event to support Purple Door Coffee last Saturday, April 14.

Despite the bad weather, 70 participated in the fun run, providing $1,300 for the ministry. York College students Alice Hackett and Kristin Tuttle were the key organizers for the event.

“We thought it was a great success considering the dangerous weather forecasts. The rain held off until the very last walkers were coming back,” says Tuttle.

Purple Door Coffee is the ministry of Mark Smesrud ’10 and coworker Madison Chandler. The pair are still in the planning and fundraising stage of their work. They intend to open a coffee shop in Denver in August 2012 that will provide job skills to young people who are homeless and are looking for a way to exit street life.

Smesrud and Chandler are striving toward a goal of $100,000 needed to begin this venture. You can find more information and give a gift of support at

Mark Smesrud '10

Mark Smesrud '10 addressess the crowd before the run. One of the event organizers, Alice Hackett, is on his right.

Purple Door Runners

About 70 runners participated in the event, raising about $1,300.

Alice Hackett and Patrick Clark

Students Alice Hackett and Patrick Clark warm up before the run.

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