By Jill Miller
Crowds cheering. People laughing. Participants running — but colored powder flying?
It’s called a “color run,” a 5K race in which participants get covered with colored powder as they run the race.
Kappa Delta’s Shamrock Run on campus Saturday will be a miniature version of a color run.
Color runs take place nationwide at various times throughout the year. Volunteers throw colored powder onto participants as they pass color stations along the route.
The Shamrock Run will raise money for the Exchange Club/Carl Perkins Center for the Prevention of Child Abuse and the national organization Prevent Child Abuse America.
Prevent Child Abuse America, founded in 1972, raises awareness, educates the public and inspires hope for people involved in the effort to end child abuse.
Krista Hardy, Kappa Delta’s vice president of community service, said she wanted to plan an event anyone could have fun doing and that was different from its former swimming event, Laps for Lives.
In Laps for Lives, Kappa Delta raised money when swimmers got sponsors. Sponsors could pledge a dollar amount for each lap completed by swimmers in a 30-minute time period.
Hardy said having a good turnout for the swim-a-thon was difficult, because the space was so crowded. She said many people also just did not want to swim laps.
Rebecca Embrey, junior history major, said she believes the turnout for this new event will be more diverse.
“The 5K will draw in more people because you can run or walk, whereas the swim-a-thon just drew in swimmers,” Embrey said.
Hardy said several of her sorority sisters also have participated in color runs and shared their experiences to help her plan some of the details, such as how participants would get covered with color.
“I was stressing out trying to find machines I could spray people with and not knock them down,” Hardy said.
Rather than use machines, however, Hardy said the women of Kappa Delta will be stationed at three places along the route to throw colors.
The colored powder is corn starch and food coloring, she said, and is non-toxic.
Kappa Delta will only use the colors red, green and blue for the Shamrock Run because they are common colors “that no one could get picky about,” Hardy said.
She said participants are urged to wear white so that the color will show up.
Sponsors, both on and off campus, have contributed, and several are donating anonymously. Some are from Hardy’s hometown of Halls, Tenn., she said.
Because Hardy knows so many people there, she said they were generous. The Bank of Halls, where Hardy works, is one such sponsor.
From 5 to 9 p.m. today, the restaurant Red Robin will host a benefit for the Shamrock Run, she said.
Members of Kappa Delta will hand flyers to patrons as they enter. If patrons tell their servers they are at the restaurant to support Kappa Delta, 10 percent of the check will be donated to the event.
“All of Red Robin’s money that we make is going straight to our philanthropy,” Hardy said.
The cost of the event for the sorority is not expected to be a great deal, she said. She said she hopes to keep costs to no more than $200.
“I want to spend the least amount of money possible,” Hardy said. “That way, all the money we’re getting from sponsors will go to benefit (the Carl Perkins Center) or our philanthropy.”
Kappa Delta plans to donate 80 percent of the total to the center, she said. The remaining 20 percent of the profits will go to Prevent Child Abuse America.
The run at 9 a.m. begins and ends at Miller Tower.