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Athletic Department cancels Big House Big Heart 5K

By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published December 4, 2012

Highfield said she thought “the reason for the meeting on Friday was to get a final go-ahead.” Instead, she met for a short time with Chrissi Rawak, the senior associate athletic director for development and Rob Rademacher, the associate athletic director of facilities and operations, who informed her of the cancellation, she said. They said the decision came after a six-to-12-month examination of the Athletic Department’s charitable endeavors, which sought to streamline those efforts, according to Highfield.

“I’m not saying I don’t believe it,” Highfield said. “I believe that. It’s just, what I said to them was I can’t imagine anything more charitable than this event. And they said that’s just not the direction we decided to go.”

Champions for Charity is currently exploring holding the event away from Michigan Stadium, calling it the Big Heart run. Volunteers and registrants have reacted to the cancellation with confusion.

“I think we’re all just not getting it,” said Carole Dubritsky, assistant director of the University’s Office of Institutional Equality, who has volunteered for the run. “I guess some of us who were volunteering don’t understand how one race, when Champions for Charity says they’re willing to pay for everything like the rental of the stadium, … why it’s such a big deal.”