Students take their clothes off for a local charity

Imagine a large group of nearly naked neon students running down Ohio University’s brick streets.

Last April, that didn’t take much imagination at all as the Student Alumni Board and Phi Kappa Psi fraternity hosted their sixth annual Bare on the Bricks charity event. They raised more than $2,000 and collected 27 bags of clothing to benefit My Sisters Place, an organization that promotes safety and self-determination for victims of domestic violence.

Zac Vance and I teamed up during the event as he conducted interviews and I photographed the fun. To check out our coverage, click on this link. With such a large turnout last year, it felt like we were in a sea of half naked glowing college students who were ready to race. Students also posted about this event by using the hashtags #NearlyNaked and #BOTB on social media.

Paint The Bare
Friends and participants used their cell phone lights to help paint faces before the Bare on the Bricks charity run last year.

 

The students were able to strip down before the race to donate clothing or cash. This was the first year for the event to be held at night and glow sticks were provided as festive lights shined around the DJ tent to get the runners excited. Balloons decorated College Green and floated from the registration, information, and donation tables.

It was time to begin! The participants lined up near College Green behind a “Get Ready…Go” sign that they ran and ripped through. Police secured a blockade to allow the safety of students as they jogged in the street. There was a finisher in less than three minutes of the start time and he is pictured in the above photo. The Pigskin hosted a post event gathering with free food and music where students could go after the run. Donating to charity AND getting free stuff at a bar, who wouldn’t do this?

Pictured on the far left in the top photo is Kendra Lutes who is the Vice President of Philanthropy for the Student Alumni Board. “[Last] year’s Bare on the Bricks presented some challenges given the postponing from the original event, but I think it’s safe to say that things turned for the better,” said Lutes. “We were so blessed to have the opportunity to plan something again and the Glow-in-the-Dark proved to be a crowd favorite! I’m excited to see how the event will grow in the future years and how we can continue to advocate for local Athens non-profit organizations.”

Will you participate in the next Bare On The Bricks run? Be on the lookout for the 2016 date by following them on Twitter to get the chance to legally run half naked at Ohio University!

Top 5 places to eat before a night out

Are you trying to decide on a place to eat before going out with your friends for your 21st birthday? Maybe you’re going to see a touring Broadway show at Memorial Auditorium but need to find a place to have a quality meal beforehand? With so many wonderful places to eat in Athens, it can be hard to narrow down your choices. No need to worry; I’ve done the research for you! These five eateries, all of which can be found on or just off of Court Street, are the best places to enjoy a meal before any kind of occasion.

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Casa Nueva – 6 West State Street (All photos by Brooke Robinson)

Casa Nueva is a classic Athens favorite, and with delicious Mexican-style food, vegan and gluten-free options, and live music, it’s no wonder why. Casa even uses ingredients like pawpaws when they’re in season for a truly unique dining experience. Friendly service, a casual ambience, and some of the best quesadillas in town make this restaurant a hit.

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O’Betty’s Red Hot – 15 West State Street

Perhaps you need to grab your food and run? Just across the street from Casa Nueva, O’Betty’s is a great little hole in the wall with famously delectable hot dogs. All the hot dogs on the menu are named after famous exotic and burlesque dancers, and vegetarian options are available. My personal recommendation is the Lily, which comes topped with homemade baked beans and cole slaw. Also, if you’re a cheese fan, their cheesy fries are the bomb. You can’t go wrong with O’Betty’s.

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Sol – 33 North Court Street

Athens is known for having a variety of exotic cuisines, and Sol is the epitome of that. This restaurant specializes in Cuban dishes along with traditional college student favorites such as loaded nachos (with cheese, black beans, lettuce, tomato, fire-roasted salsa, red onion, and sour cream – yum). Many of their dishes are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free. Try their Cuban fusion wrap, fish tacos, or maduros (slightly cartelized plantains) and enjoy the friendly staff.

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Salaam – 21 West Washington Street

The minute you step into Salaam, the atmosphere sets the stage for the meal you’re about to have. Beaded curtains, colorful tapestries, and the hospitable employees make you feel right at home and ready for some amazing Mediterranean food. Try a plate of their Mediterranean pasta (penne pasta with basil pesto, feta, and sun-dried tomato) or, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, the vegan vegetable curry with tofu (fresh vegetables with fried tofu and a tomato/coconut milk curry sauce served over basmati rice with coriander chutney and papadum).

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Fluff Bakery – 8 North Court Street

Or maybe you’re more of the Leslie Knope-type and prefer to just fill up on dessert or baked goods before going out. Although Fluff Bakery also carries entrée-type food (sandwiches, salads, and salmon, just to name a few), they’re best known for their bakery, as you may have guessed. Their cannoli, pumpkin and red velvet cupcakes, macaroons, cinnamon twists, etc., are to die for. If you’re not hungry before walking in, the smell of the kitchen will have your mouth watering in no time.