The winner wasn’t present but the roughly 1,000 other students who attended Owen’s Condition for Tuition Carnival on Tuesday walked away feeling like champions for taking part of the annual celebration of fitness and well-being.
Owen’s Condition for Tuition is a wellness-based scholarship founded six years ago by Joshua and Tessa Owen and their family. Joshua Owen’s intent was to encourage Cal State Long Beach students to live a healthy lifestyle. The program rewards an individual who completes a semester-long challenge with free tuition.
Owen passed away at the age of 43 in 2015, but his family, along with CSULB, Associated Students Inc. and the community decided to keep the program afloat with the free tuition and annual carnival.
“Josh always intended to keep it perpetual and it means more to us now that he’s gone,” Valerie Owen, his mother, said. “For all the incredible (charitable) things he did, this was one of his very favorites.
“I don’t know where we started, but it (challenge) grows by leaps and bounds every single year. It’s just amazing. I’m so excited to see all the participation.”
This year, 5,672 students signed up for the challenge of working out at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center for 50 times with a duration of at least 30 minutes during the semester. Activities including spinning, cardio, swimming, boxing and volleyball.
More than 930 completed the task and their names were entered into a drawing. Graduate student Ryan Sueme (organic chemistry) won the raffle and will receive a check for $3,399 to pay for school in the fall.
While awaiting the announcement of the winner, other participants were treated to free Mexican food and cake, raffle prizes that included a beach cruiser bike and surfboard, a photo booth, games and interactive carnival booths.