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5k race raises money, awareness for HBCUs

ATLANTA – Albany State University graduates and supporters say they hope to boost their participation next year in a walk/5k run that helps provide funds for students who plan to attend a historically black college or university.

The 12th edition of the HBCU Alumni Alliance Run/Walk was held on June 29 at Piedmont Park in Atlanta, but event organizers already are gearing up for the last Saturday in June 2020.

“Even though it’s a historically black college and university alumni race, it’s open to anyone,” Tamara Nelson, an Albany native and alumna of Albany State who now lives in Atlanta, said. “Most people think you have to have gone to an HBCU, but it is not (the case).”

walkers and runners participated this year.

“It’s grown over the years,” said Nelson, who is CFO/treasurer of the event. “It allows HBCU chapter members to coordinate together to raise money for scholarships for metro Atlanta students who are attending HBCUs across the country.”

The full amount of money raised from the 2019 run was not known after allowing for expenses and any additional pledges from businesses and individuals. But more than 3,200 people registered to participate.

“Pledges alone were over $50,000,” said Nelson, who joined the ASU DeKalb County chapter six years ago and ran in the race before becoming an officer.

In addition to raising funds, participants have a chance to hang out with those in the 53 member groups in the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance, one of which is the Albany State chapter.

“I think the main thing that makes it special is we can get together and celebrate,” Nelson said. “It’s a homecoming atmosphere when we do this race. We all come together and have fun.”

The run/walk also promotes a healthy lifestyle and boosts the visibility of the alliance.

walkers and runners participated this year.

“It’s grown over the years,” said Nelson, who is CFO/treasurer of the event. “It allows HBCU chapter members to coordinate together to raise money for scholarships for metro Atlanta students who are attending HBCUs across the country.”

The full amount of money raised from the 2019 run was not known after allowing for expenses and any additional pledges from businesses and individuals. But more than 3,200 people registered to participate.

“Pledges alone were over $50,000,” said Nelson, who joined the ASU DeKalb County chapter six years ago and ran in the race before becoming an officer.

In addition to raising funds, participants have a chance to hang out with those in the 53 member groups in the Atlanta HBCU Alumni Alliance, one of which is the Albany State chapter.

“I think the main thing that makes it special is we can get together and celebrate,” Nelson said. “It’s a homecoming atmosphere when we do this race. We all come together and have fun.”

The run/walk also promotes a healthy lifestyle and boosts the visibility of the alliance.