College students and their friends will have the opportunity to run a five kilometer race while having a rainbow of pigments tossed on their pure white clothing — all to foster support for gender diversity at SUNY Cortland.
Alpha Phi Omega, a co-ed service fraternity at SUNY Cortland, and Spectrum, the College’s Gay-Straight Alliance Club, will host the unusually colorful 5K walk/run to support diversity in gender and sexual orientation, on Sunday, April 21.
Organizers of the event, Color Me Cortland, welcome everyone. Participants may choose to walk or run. The competition’s biggest rule: don’t show up to run in any color outfit but white.
Sunglasses are highly recommended and all products are 100 percent safe and natural.
The online and mail-in registration fee for the walk/run is $12.50 and is available until Sunday, April 14. Early registration for a $10 fee can be made from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and from 5 to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 9, Wednesday, April 10, Thursday, April 11 and Friday, April 12, in the Corey Union ground floor level across from Dunkin’ Donuts. Late registration will be available on site the day of the event for $15. Late registration and check-in begin at 9 a.m. in front of the College’s Park Center on Stratton Drive. The walk/run starts from there at 11 a.m.
Participants will take on the 5K — which measure 3.1 miles — through the College campus. At checkpoints throughout the course, those who take part will be splashed with vibrant color made of dye and cornstarch.
“There will be lots of excitement, energy and, of course, color!” revealed Megan Johnson, co-coordinator from Alpha Phi Omega.
After participants cross the finish line, they are encouraged to stay and celebrate.
There are other colored-5K runs such as the Color Run, and Color Me Rad — which visit big cities across the country — and all of them, including Color Me Cortland, choose a charity to donate the proceeds to.
The proceeds from this year’s first annual Color Me Cortland will go to The Trevor Project, the leading national organization in providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth (LGBTQ).
“We — Alpha Phi Omega and Spectrum — are very passionate about the cause, because we have so many LGBTQ friends, and have been affected by suicides,” Johnson commented. “We wanted a fun way to spread the word that there is help out there and that you’re not alone.
“The Trevor Project supports the LGBTQ community and we thought it was important to bring awareness to the organization.”
The students have been planning and working on this event for about a year. Organizers noted that Color Me Cortland will be less about speed and more about giving back and enjoying the day.
“Everyone working on the project is just so excited to see it succeed,” Johnson said. “It is a group effort and the event would not have even gotten its feet off the ground if not for the help of everyone in Alpha Phi Omega and Spectrum.”
The groups aim to raise $3,000 from the event.
“So far we have raised over $1,500 with online registration,” Johnson said. “We are just over halfway to our goal.”
Alpha Phi Omega members hope the walk/run will become the fraternity’s signature event.