Univ. Communications – Like the Garbage Plate itself, Sigma Phi Epsilon’s annual Nick Tahou’s Run features an improbable mix of ingredients: fraternity brothers, a famous local eatery, a health clinic affiliated with the university, and participation in a race from the university and local community alike. It all goes toward a good cause: raising funds for at-risk children and families affected by abuse, neglect, violence, and other difficulties.
On Saturday, April 7th, about 100 contestants participated in the Tahou’s Run. It included representation from students, staff, members of the local community, and especially the brothers from Sigma Phi Epsilon, who organized the event. They come together for a relay race from the River Campus to Nick Tahou’s, a 4.4 mile round-trip run, which also features a meal of a whole Garbage Plate.
The run and relay race involve one person running two miles from the River Campus to Nick Tahou’s; one to eat a Garbage Plate; and a third to run back to campus. These roles can also be split between two people, or even a single person, who is given the title of Iron Man, “one brave soul who does it all.” The good-natured race is followed by an award for the top team.
Nick Tahou’s Garbage Plates have been a classic of Rochester for more than 50 years. Not for the timid of stomach, it is a mess of hamburger, cheeseburger, home fries, red hots, white hots, ham, chicken, fish, grilled cheese, macaroni salad, or eggs. One recommendation on Roadfood.com says it all: “Eat this quickly or all the fat will gel the ingredients together!” Sixty of them were donated by Nick Tahou’s for this event.
The run this year raised more than $500 for the Mt. Hope Family Center, a Strong Memorial Hospital- affiliate that works to improve the lives of disadvantaged children and their families. It engages in both research and social services to make sure that children can develop, socially and emotionally. “The Mt. Hope Family Center is dedicated to helping at-risk children and families improve their lives by giving them the necessary resources to build strong healthy families and peer relationships,” said Sheree L. Toth, the executive director of the center. “Since we are part of the University of Rochester, we are thrilled the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity chose to support us as their charity for this great race tradition.”
Two runners this year ran as Iron Men: David Liesegang, a staff member at the University of Rochester Medical Center, and Travis Figueroa, a community member. While Kenny Hanchett ’14, one of the race organizers admitted that “having to put your body through running 2.2 miles, eating a garbage plate, and running back is a difficult task,” turnout to the race was strong.
“I think it’s a uniquely college experience that everyone should do while at the U of R. Also, the money goes to the Mt. Hope Family Center, an organization Sigma Phi Epsilon has made strong ties with and a cause we feel worthy of public support and charitable donations,” he said.
The next Tahou’s Run will take place in spring 2013.
Article written by Dan Wang, a sophomore at Rochester, who studies philosophy and economics. Photos courtesy of the Mt. Hope Family Center.