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App State’s Spooky Duke 2021 raises more than $25K — most to date — for children with special needs

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Last Updated on November 2, 2021 2:00 pm

BOONE, N.C. — On Saturday, Oct. 16, ghouls, ghosts and goblins once again gathered on the campus of Appalachian State University — and virtually — for the 11th annual Spooky Duke 5K/10K Race and Costume Contest. The event raised more than $25,000 to support High Country children with special needs — the most to date since the race began in 2011.

This year, 341 walkers and runners and 50 volunteers participated. With sponsorships, donations and participation fees, the event raised more than $15,000 in proceeds to benefit App State’s Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country (FSN-HC), which assists regional families who have children with special needs.

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Participants in the 2021 Spooky Duke Costume Contest at Appalachian State University on Oct. 16. Photo by Kyla Willoughby

Two $5,000 matching grants from Health Foundation Inc. and Mast General Store raised the total to $25,617.

The Halloween-themed fundraising and awareness-raising event is a USA Track & Field-certified 5K and 10K race with a free costume march and contest in which children, adults and pets show off costumes as part of the fun. Spooky Duke is named in honor of Dr. Charles R. Duke, event sponsor and former dean of App State’s Reich College of Education (RCOE).

App State’s Parent to Parent (FSN-HC), housed in RCOE, provides free support and information to families who have a premature baby or a child with a disability, an emotional or behavioral challenge, a mental illness or a chronic health condition, and also assists families who are grieving the death of a child. The program serves Alleghany, Ashe, Avery, Mitchell, Watauga, Wilkes and Yancey counties.

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Kaaren Hayes, director of Appalachian State University’s Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country (FSN-HC), second from left, congratulates the youngest winner of App State’s 2021 Spooky Duke Costume Contest, held Oct. 16. Photo by Kyla Willoughby

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Pictured in the foreground are sophomore psychology major Karyn Schy, left, and junior public health major Jonathan Apolinar Soriaño in their “holy cow” costumes. Schy and Soriaño shared the Best Costume trophy as winners of App State’s 2021 Spooky Duke Costume Contest, held Oct. 16. Photo by Kyla Willoughby

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A family of Links — the main character from video game “The Legend of Zelda” — prepares to compete in Appalachian State University’s 2021 Spooky Duke 5K/10K Race. Pictured, from left to right, are Brian Cole, Ana Cole, Natalie Croxton, Owen Cole and Sophia Cole. Photo by Kyla Willoughby

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Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman took time from saving the world to participate in the 2021 Spooky Duke Race held at Appalachian State University Oct. 16. Photo by Marta Saylors

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Sophomore music education major Malcolm Vaughn, left, and senior psychology major Angeline Amponsah carry the Costume March banner for Appalachian State University’s 2021 Spooky Duke Costume Contest, held Oct. 16. Photo by Marta Saylors

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Spider-Man and Batgirl joined forces to take part in Appalachian State University’s 2021 Spooky Duke Race and Costume Contest, held Oct. 16 on App State’s campus and virtually. Photo by Marta Saylors

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Appalachian State University alumna Olivia Cullipher ’19 and her canine companion, Foley — outfitted as a pirate, pause for a photo during App State’s 2021 Spooky Duke Race and Costume Contest. During her time at App State, Cullipher served as an intern for the university’s Parent to Parent Family Support Network-High Country, which assists regional families who have children with special needs. Photo by Helen Phillips

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Have you ever seen a furry, four-legged pumpkin? The costumed canine pictured was one of several that took part in Appalachian State University 2021 Spooky Duke Race and Costume Contest, held virtually and in person on App State’s campus Oct. 16. Photo by Kayla Willoughby

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