Published on February 28th, 2017 | by Zachary Smith0
Kappa Delta Hosts Tenth Annual Loop the Lake Race
FSC’s Kappa Delta chapter spiced up its annual Loop the Lake run in support of preventing child abuse in the Lakeland community and the United States.
This year marked the tenth anniversary of the Loop the Lake Run, and the chapter was hopeful it could raise even more money by adding a new twist to this year’s race.
To commemorate the chapter’s tenth annual Loop the Lake Run, this year’s race was transformed into a color run. Kappa Delta vice president of community service Anna Burns said she hoped making the race a color run would draw a larger college crowd to the race, which would in turn bring in more money for the chapter’s cause.
“We wanted to do something different because we’ve done years of just a 5k, and so to switch it up we said ‘let’s celebrate,’” Burns said. “I thought making it a color run would bring a lot more younger people to the race. It has allowed us to say to people ‘look this is going to be so much fun’ and not ‘oh you are about to go run a 5k at eight in the morning.’”
FSC students like Logan Ash said they enjoyed the race and were humbled by the experience.
“I thought the run was a great experience, and the fact that it was a color run definitely made it more appealing than 5ks I’ve ran before,” Ash said. “Running for a cause is always rewarding, especially one like Heartland for Children, and seeing the community come together like that to contribute towards the foundation is an amazing thing to see and makes you feel like part of something bigger than yourself.”
The chapter’s philanthropy focuses on combatting child abuse in the United States. The chapter conducts its philanthropy both on a national level through work with Prevent Child Abuse America and local level through work with Heartland for Children.
Heartland for Children is a community-based care organization that strives to improve the safety and well-being for children living in Polk, Highlands and Hardee Counties. Heartland for Children oversees protective services, foster, adoptions, abuse prevention and family support services.
None of the proceeds gained from the run go into the pockets of the chapter members. Instead, 80 percent goes to Heartland for Children, and the remaining 20 percent goes to PCAA.
Burns said last year’s Loop the Lake Run raised over $16,000. Of that $16,000, over $13,000 was donated to Heartland for Children.
The total amount of money raised from this year’s Loop the Lake will be released in April. However, the money earned from the event is not the only thing of value to Heartland for Children.
Heartland for Children CEO Teri Saunders said she is tremendously thankful for the relationship the company has with Kappa Delta and values the girls’ efforts each year. Saunders also said with each passing year, she is thankful to be able to work with the many amazing girls in the sorority and formulate relationships with each of them along the way.
As for the money earned, Saunders said the money donated to Heartland for Children is used in so many ways, and it always goes towards supporting children in the Lakeland community any way possible.
“We might use the money to help a grandmother buy bunk beds so that she can take in her grandkids if they are in a difficult situation,” Saunders said. “We might use the money to help support a family struggling to pay a house payment or we might use the money to help a family meet basic needs. We know that the very best thing that we can do for the children in our community is to make sure they grow up in safe stable homes.”
Much like many other areas in the United States, the presence of child abuse and neglect in Polk County is ever-present. From 2014 to 2015, over 13,000 reports of maltreatment towards children occurred in Polk County.
In turn, Burns said she wanted those running to have a greater understanding and greater awareness of the realities facing children and families struggling the Lakeland community and surrounding areas. Burns also said she has hope that those who ran in the race understand how great of an impact they have on those children and families.
“Obviously we wanted to raise more money than before, but most importantly, we wanted people to realize that this in fact a problem in the community,” Burns said. “We wanted people to realize ‘oh this is real and it’s here,’ and so that is why we wanted to be more informative of the event and its cause than years past.”
Kappa Delta’s distributed pinwheels around campus leading up to and at the race to raise awareness for their cause. Saunders was also invited by the chapter to speak on behalf of her organization to shine light on the positive impact the event has on the community.
The chapter’s celebratory and unorthodox race will not the only event held to support the PCAA and Heartland for Children this year. Burns said the chapter will be adding a new fundraiser to raise more funds for its philanthropy called Quesadillas for Kappa Deltas.
The chapter members will sell quesadillas to students and all proceeds will go directly to its philanthropy beneficiaries. Burns said Quesadillas for Kappa Deltas will be held in April.