Long overdue!!! A week and half ago, Saturday, October 26th, the 5k fundraiser for our trip was held. It was a great success! It was very touching to see how many people had come out to support us. We could not have been any more thankful. Our efforts and the opportunity to go and be nurses for others would not have been real without our devoted supporters.
The 5k is a hallmark for our trip to Haiti as it encourages a healthy lifestyle among our students, faculty and neighbors within the Chestnut Hill and Boston areas. In the meantime, it raises awareness about rampant and ravaging situations in the world, which thus accentuates the greater need for medical and nursing assistance in impoverished communities. Essentially, events like these are helpful for many communities.
As the event carried on very smoothly, I could not help but to think about the amount of work and time had been put into its planning. Being a yearly event, it is easy to think lightly of the time and effort needed to make it a success. I thought about the people who dedicated so much of their time to make it an enjoyable and informative event for everyone. That being said, I have decided to interview its main planners this year. Every year, students from the group volunteer to take charge of organizing the event. During our introductory meeting last spring semester, Meghan Read and Jocelyn H Lund-Wilde volunteered to carry on the task. Since then, it’s been a constant juggling of their time (even during the summer break) to undertake all necessary steps to in fact have a successful event. Also, obtaining an insight on the process deems useful for our successors the upcoming years.
Here are what Meghan and Jocelyn had to say:
1- Last Spring, on our first meeting, you volunteered to organize the 5K? Why so?
· We volunteered to organize the 5K because we love to run so it was something we were interested in and also because we have been to the 5K for Haiti in prior years, so we thought it would be a cool experience to come full circle and be part of organizing it this year.
2- How long did it take to plan the 5K?
· We started working on planning for the 5K in July doing things like writing the fundraising letter and brainstorming about places to ask for donations, and we've continued with planning up until the race today. There is a lot that goes into coordinating this event.
3- How was the process of getting in touch with local businesses to obtain prizes for the raffles?
· It was very easy to simply go into businesses and provide them with our letter and ask them if they would like to be a part of the race, the harder part was getting them to follow through after they took the letter to get it approved by upper management, but we ended up with a lot of good raffle prizes and donations.
4- Why did you decide on the new route? What was the old route?
We decided on a new route because last year I remembered the route was kind of confusing for people including ourselves, so I wanted to see if we could simplify it and make it more of the 5K length that we were advertising while also sticking to the rule that we could only run on campus. We think the route ended up being very successful.
5- How was it collaborating with the University and Student Activities?
· Collaborating with Karl Bell was great because he has been doing this with Donna (our faculty coordinating the Haiti trip) for a few years so he knew the questions to ask us as well as being very knowledgeable about what goes on around campus in order for us to find the best ways to advertise.
6 - Last, but not least, seeing how much of a success it turned out, what were some things that you were able to learn throughout this process? What would be your advice and tips for next year's students?
· We were really happy with the turn out this year, but there could always be more so we think we definitely learned that the date for our race was tricky because we were the week after the very popular Red Bandana Run and it was the weekend of the 4Boston retreat which together we think kept some people from attending. We think our advice to next year’s students would be to stay on top of their planning and to really push their advertising campaign in as many ways as possible to spread the word to as much students as they can, because ultimately all the planning that goes into the race doesn't guarantee that anyone will sign up and the race is all about spreading awareness throughout the campus. We were so happy to see that we have so many people supporting our trip to Haiti. We are looking forward to the trip even more knowing that we have an entire BC community behind us!
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