5K for a Cause

Kappa Kappa Gamma and Project Beauty hosted a 5K run to benefit the National Alopecia Areata Foundation (NAAF) on April 18. Alopecia Areata is an autoimmune disease that causes varying degrees of hair loss, and it currently has no cure. Kappa Kappa Gamma philanthropy chair junior Samantha Berlin started the event last spring because of her close connection with alopecia. Berlin has been living with alopecia since age five.

“She is really passionate about this, and we are really passionate about supporting her in this cause,” Kappa Kappa Gamma President junior Katherine Latta said.

The event was promoted via tables in the O’Connor Campus Center (Coop) with sign ups and tank top sales and through a Facebook event. This is the second year this event has been hosted, so many supporters knew of the 5K from Berlin’s efforts last year.

“I decided last January I wanted to be proactive and not let the Alopecia define me, and that’s when I created this 5K to raise awareness and money for NAAF,” Berlin said.

The run started on the Hamilton Village Green before heading towards Seven Oaks Golf Course and winding down through campus to finish back at the starting line. The first finishers completed the 5K in just over 20 minutes, with a range of walkers and joggers coming in at their own pace shortly afterwards.

“It was nice to run through parts of Colgate’s campus during the April Visit Days because it allowed us to demonstrate a positive image across campus and show that this is something important to us,” Latta said. 

There were approximately 50 runners on a brisk Friday afternoon, raising $800. There was a large contingency of Kappa members involved in the set up, clean up, organization and actual running.   

Kappa Kappa Gamma teamed up with Project Beauty because the overall goal of the event was to promote a healthy image for women. Project Beauty and alopecia awareness were seen as complementary  because of the difficulties of maintaining a positive body image as a person with alopecia.

“The main goal of this run is to show everyone that outward appearance does not define you and in a society that is dominated by Lookism, there is more to life than physical appearance. True confidence comes from accepting and appreciating your innate qualities, and everyone can empower themselves to feel beautiful and confident,” Berlin said.