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Tippie Build Race Boosts Habitat

Tippie Build 5KWarm weather and an energetic group of runners helped ring in the inaugural Tippie Build 5K road race Saturday morning.

More than 100 people turned out to run the race through downtown Iowa City.

"This was a great success," said Roberto Paniagua, a senior in the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business who helped coordinate the 5K. "We knew the first one was going to be a challenge, but we're already looking forward to next year."

The race raised money for Tippie Build, an organization made up of students and faculty from the UI business school that focuses on helping raise money and providing volunteers for the Iowa Valley Habitat for Humanity.

Each year, Tippie Build pledges to raise $50,000 to Habitat for Humanity to help build one home, and they've helped construct four homes in the past four years, Paniagua said.

More than 200 students and faculty participate in Tippie Build.

For Paniagua, part of the satisfaction of participating in the organization comes from creating something permanent.

"After four years of study here, once you leave, there's only so much you can come back to, but fund-raising and building a house, that's long term," he said.

The group currently is helping build a house on Whispering Meadow Avenue in Iowa City that is near completion, he said.

"Every nice weekend there is, students and faculty are out there, putting up walls, painting, shingling," Paniagua said. "Knowing how deserving the families are and the challenging backgrounds they come from, it's great to be able to help."

Chad Podkulski, a freshman in the business school and Tippie Build member, participated in the race because he wanted another way to help the organization, he said.

"I thought it was for a really good cause," Podkulski said. "I remember working on the house at the beginning, and now we're almost finished. It's really cool, especially knowing I helped build it."

Tippie Build is the largest partnership for the local Iowa Valley Habitat, said David Minehart, director of resource development at Habitat.

"These donations help us buy construction materials so we can put volunteers to work," Minehart said. "We try to raise $50,000 in new fund-raising for each (house). These students are very heavily committed to our mission."

Written by Emily Schettler

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