Half marathon benefits CHaD

by Noah Goldstein | 10/26/14 6:16pm

by Tracy Wang / The Dartmouth

Superheroes came out flying on Sunday, or so it appeared as over 3,500 people, many in colorful costumes, participated the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hero half marathon and Ripcord 5K. As of press time, the hospital had raised more than $697,000.

As part of the program, a number of Greek houses compete to try to raise the most money.

Philanthropic All American Rush, an organization run by Dartmouth students, has partnered with the CHaD Hero event since 2012, boosting revenue and helping organize Greek houses, non-profit Positive Tracks founder Nini Meyer said.

For every dollar Greek houses raise, Positive Tracks contributes the same amount, PAAR co-president Sophia Johnston ’15 said. So far, Greek houses raised more than $22,000.

At the end of the term, Greek organizations will submit participant numbers and amount raised, with the winners receiving monetary prizes. Last year, they raised around $48,900 by the late November deadline, doubled by Positive Tracks to around $97,800. This marked an increase on the approximately $67,600 total in 2012.

Johnston said she hoped to see an increase in both participation and amount raised, noting that she would like the money to go toward one concrete initiative, such as a program or a room in the hospital.

“A key part of our mission statement is showing that there is a strong philanthropic element in the Greek system,” Johnston said.

So far, Alpha Delta fraternity has raised over $10,000, and Psi Upsilon fraternity raised at least $14,000. Other participating Greek organizations included Alpha Xi Delta sorority, with $470; Alpha Chi Alpha fraternity, with $1,011; Kappa Delta sorority, with $825; Kappa Delta Epsilon sorority, with $915; Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority with $3,480; Zeta Psi fraternity, with $90.

Psi U won the philanthropy contest in 2012, while AD did so in 2013.

In addition to collecting donations for the race, Greek organizations found a number of creative ways to raise money.

With an online crowd sourcing campaign, Psi U asked for donations to shave the head of fraternity member Bennett Winton ’16 — with possible total amounts connected to different haircuts. As of press time the campaign had raised $9,030.

Winton said he offered up his hair as tribute because he wants to give back to his community, but at the same time hoped to avoid the “Avatar arrow” haircut.

“I think it’s really nice to go beyond myself and do something that is going to make such a positive impact on others. As college life goes, it is easy to lose sight of giving back,” Winton said.

Meanwhile, Alpha Phi sorority hosts an annual cupcake war, where locals pay to participate in a bake off.

The money goes toward various programs within CHaD, such as the Child Life program, a child therapy program, Intensive Care Nursery and Molly’s Place, a family care center.

Ever since the event switched from summer to fall three years ago, making it easier for the College to work with the program as more students are on campus, Dartmouth students have greatly contributed to the success, CHaD community relations director Sharon Brown said.

The event, established by former Olympic ski jumper Jeff Hastings, began in 2006.

Benjamin Hall, the brand and marketing manager for CHaD community relations, who oversees CHaD Hero, said half of this year’s proceeds will go directly to a 23-bed unit in Lebanon for CHaD patients. He said that the money will also go to safety awareness programs that educate people about helmets and booster seats.

CHaD hopes to raise $800,000 by the end of November, Brown said.

Greek houses together had a total of 164 participants signed up before the event, although they expected many to register the day of.

Participants also included 175 varsity athletes, and the rugby team helped clean up after, Brown said.

Johnston is a former member of The Dartmouth staff.