Who: Eta – University of Alabama
When: Sunday, September 18th
Where: Start/Finish line was at University of Alabama Recreation Center with the route looping around campus
What: Run for Ronald 5K was a timed race with prizes going to the top five female runners and top five male runners. Participants could register online two weeks leading up to the event for $25 or register onsite the day of for $30; both prices included a t-shirt. This 5K was the kick-off to our chapter’s Homecoming Weeks of Giving. Instead of spending thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours on Homecoming like sororities at the University of Alabama normally do, we decided to use that money and time to give back to the community and to Ronald McDonald House Charities. This week resulted in over $16,000 raised for RMHC!
How long did it take you to plan and organize? We brainstormed and planned for the event in the spring semester, and as soon as school started back, giving us about six weeks until Race Day, we began the process of getting University approval, gathering resources, and advertising for the event.
How did you publicize the event? Registration for the 5K was done online at Eventbrite so the link to register was shared on all of our chapter’s social media outlets via the social media chair. Each chapter member was also encouraged to post about it on their individual social media platforms. We also notified each sorority and fraternity on campus and provided incentives related to homecoming for participants. We reached out to all track/running clubs in the Tuscaloosa area and many other local athletic organizations.
How did you involve the entire chapter and get them excited? Each chapter member was expected to get two friends or family members to register and come to the 5K as well as their own participation in the 5K by either running/walking or by holding encouraging signs along the route during the race. Since this event was considered part
of our Homecoming efforts, extra incentives tied to Homecoming were given for the girls who got the most number of people to register.
TIPS FOR SUCCESS!
- Tie in your event with a greater University event. Hosting Run for Ronald 5K during Homecoming week was great because it gave our members and other students more of an incentive to get excited and participate.
- Involve everyone! Create a reasonable goal for each chapter member to attain. Example: bringing two friends or family members to the race.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help. One person cannot put on an event of this scale and plenty of sisters are willing to help; you just have to ask and get people involved! Our event would not have been so successful without the help of my philanthropy committee and our homecoming chair, Mary Margaret Schmidt.