“I feel awesome, I feel like crying,” said Arizmendi, a third year undeclared student. “I just showed up today expecting to have some fun and maybe win one small prize. I can’t believe it.”
Hundreds of fitness junkies gathered in front of the student rec center, awash with anticipation and lactic acid, hoping to win the coveted raffle prize that would pay their tuition for next semester.
The center awarded several prizes to students who have partaken in Owen’s Condition for Tuition in the 2017-2018 academic year.
The challenge encouraged students to “attain new fitness goals and achieve a healthy lifestyle,” and required students to go to the rec center 50 times during the academic year, Associated Students Inc. said in a statement Tuesday.
The event had Raffle prizes, such as free summer rec membership, bikes, $50 Amazon, gas and Trader Joe gift cards and more were awarded as students enjoyed free tacos and games.
With nearly 6,500 student participants, 998 completed the program, which makes this year the largest finale yet.
Justine Chang, a senior kinesiology major, has taken part in the event for the past four years.
“I finished my 50 days in the gym, and I was looking forward to this event,” Chang said. “It’s so fun to come every year, because you’re coming with your friends and you’ve helped each other workout and get fit, so we might as well get a shot at making money and winning prizes.”
Owen’s Condition for Tuition was founded in 2011 by Joshua and Tessa Owen and their family to encourage students to live healthy and active lives. Joshua died in his sleep in the summer of 2015 at the age of 43 and his family honors his memory by supporting students at Long Beach State through the program.
“Josh Owen was a member of the facility here [and] loved the rec center,” said Maureen MacRae, fitness coordinator for the SWRC. “He…wanted to encourage more students to take advantage of this beautiful facility, because he loved coming in here in the mornings to work out.”
Since the program began in 2011, students have provided feedback on the program, adding that it positively impacted their health.
“[Some students] didn’t realize what a difference working out could make on their lifestyle,” MacRae said. “It really did encourage more people to come into the door and create a regular fitness routine.”
The theme of the celebration was Luau-style which included a DJ, Hawaiian dancers, prizes and free food.
Additional activities at the event were push-up contests, photo booths, caricature and balloon artists, and reps from Salud juice and KIND Bar serving free samples.
Only present participants won prizes, and those who completed the full program received a custom cooling towel.
“I like all the free stuff,” said Emma Dodson, a freshman accounting major. “It’s kind of like a reward for all the hard work we put in going to the gym. I didn’t expect it to look this big, and I didn’t know there were going to be so many activities going on. I’m [definitely] going to do it next year.”