BY KARINA BLODNIEKS
This morning, CCHS was filled with purple people.
After seven months of intensive planning, the Student Government Association (SGA) put on their second annual Color Run to support the American Cancer Society. With about 140 people registered, the event raised over $3,000.
“It’s what makes Cooper City someplace special,” Mayor and attendee Greg Ross said. “It’s a partnership between the city and the school that can’t get better.”
Color Run participants ran the length of 90th Ave., with various stations serving to throw pigment powder at runners. As a
nationally-recognized type of event, Color Runs are largely lauded as memorable experiences about more than just running. As part of the $25 registration fee, participants received a white Relay for Life shirt to highlight the chalk pigment.
Planning for the event began in September of the previous year. SGA Sponsor Natalie Flaten elaborates, saying that running the event requires acquisition of corporate sponsorships to get materials ranging from food to a timer for the participants. She also commented that SGA had to work closely with the city in order to close 90th Avenue for the morning.
The Color Run’s second year saw a similar turnout to its inaugural year.
Former SGA President Jordan Izenwasser founded the event during the 2015-2016 school year, raising over $4,000 for cancer research.
But the event was not born solely of school spirit – Izenwasser’s grandfather had passed away from cancer prior to his year as SGA president, spurring his decision to plan and execute a large-scale event for the cause.
“Going into my presidency I wanted to achieve two things: raise school spirit and give back to the community,” Izenwasser said.
The first ever Color Run was largely seen as a success by the community, and current president Carolina Chiari sought to keep the event thriving.
“I needed to make [Izenwasser] proud,” Chiari said. “So I had to do this project again and do it justice.”
Lengthy meetings with the city and sponsors went into planning the event, and at many points, Chiari and sponsor Natalie Flaten described experiencing frustration with the process. But with attendance and fundraising comparable to its first year, both planners say they are proud.
“It definitely makes all the blood, sweat and tears worth it,” Flaten said. “There are times where Carolina [SGA President] and I would look at each other and ask how we were going to get through this … But when we saw how much money we raise, and how many people are here having a fun time, it definitely makes it worth it.”
The event itself is a project for the Davie/Cooper City Relay for Life, which brings various community organizations together to fundraise for cancer research and survivor support. As a team, SGA helped plan and implement the Color Run.
Last year, SGA won the state “most innovative” award for their Color Run efforts with the American Cancer Society.
“This [project] is the first Color Run we’ve had in Florida,” Dayami Gomez said. “We haven’t seen a completely student-run fundraising event this big in the entire state.”
SGA hopes to continue the event in future years, with the incoming president taking the reins.
“Wherever this event may go, I hope the people running the project understand what it meant to begin with,” Chiari said. “It wasn’t just about getting it out there. This wasn’t just to raise money, but to raise awareness.”
Chiari hopes that this event serves as a reminder of the cause they are fundraising for.
“This is to show people who have been affected by cancer that they’re not alone,” Chiari said.
Featured image by Karina Blodnieks