Volunteer Emory will host its fifth annual 5K run/walk, Get
Fit To Volunteer, Saturday, March 23, at 10 a.m. in Lullwater
Get Fit To Volunteer is VEs primary vehicle to raise funds
for community organizations. This year, the money raised will benefit
groups that assist refugees in the Atlanta area.
Around 70,000 refugees resettle in the United States each
year, and thousands of those come to Atlanta, said Hildie
Cohen, director of Volunteer Emory. The 2002 run/walk is the second
Cohen is overseeing as VE director.
As an Emory College senior and VE staff member in 1998, Cohen helped
plan the first run/walk.
Last years 5K drew more than 100 participants and raised
$1,300 to benefit geriatric care in the Atlanta area. It was the
most successful Get Fit to date in both fundraising
and participation, and this year should prove to be even better.
Cohen said the pledges and registration fees already collected have
almost bested the 2001 fundraising total.
Taking part in the 5K is simple. VE will set up registration tables
in the Dobbs Center, March 1820. Registration fees are $10
for faculty/staff/visitors and $5 for students. Runners also can
register the day of the race beginning at 9:30 a.m. Registration
forms are available in the VE office in the Dobbs Center, 239E,
The course winds its way through Lullwater Park, and all participants
will earn t-shirts. Prizes will go to the top male and female walkers
and runners. Random participants will receive prizes as well. Refreshments
will be provided.
In planning the event each year, the VE staff brainstorms to identify
We send applications to the organizations we work with,
Cohen said. After the run, we review the returned applications,
then decide how the money is distributed.
With Atlantas increasingly diverse population, refugee resettlement
is becoming a more important issue. The fact that many refugees
come from poor countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America only
complicates the mission of refugee organizations.
Cohen listed several organizationsthe International Rescue
Committee, the Georgia Mutual Assistance Association Consortium
and the Newcomers Networkwho may be eligible to receive
funds. Because of the many worthwhile charities, Cohen said, money
raised by the 5K most likely will be spread out among multiple groups.
The International Rescue Committee, which has an office in Decatur,
is helping VE promote the 5K and has invited The Lost Boys of Sudan
to participate. The Lost Boys is a national organization that assists
the thousands of Sudanese who have fled their war-torn land over
the last 20 years. Hundreds of those refugees have settled in Atlanta.