Love shouldnâ€™t hurt.
And the women of Alpha Chi Omega (AXO) reminded the Charlotte community of just that this past weekend during their second annual Cupid Shuffle 5K, which benefits the sororityâ€™s philanthropy of domestic violence awareness, education and prevention.
Capping off AXOâ€™s Healthy Relationships Week, the Kappa Rho chapter of UNC Charlotte held their philanthropic event at noon on Saturday, Feb. 13. A little over 500 runners, volunteers and Charlotteans shuffled over to the Frank Liske Park for the highly anticipated 5K.
Runners were given the option to sign up individually for $30 or as a pair for $50. First, second and third places prizes were awarded to both individual runners and couple runners.
According to co-coordinators Allysea Thompson and Lauren Vordenberg of AXO, the event garnered over $10,000 dollars from online race sign-ups alone, which is double the amount of runners to sign up compared to last yearâ€™s 5K. In addition, a little over $2,000 in donations and sponsorships was alsoÂ raised.
â€śDomestic violence is a big concern and mostÂ people donâ€™t talk about it,â€ť said Thompson. â€śAnd itâ€™s not just prevention of domestic violence, but also awareness and education thatâ€™s important. Itâ€™s the whole nine yards weâ€™re trying to cover.â€ť
With the collected total of $12,000+, 85Â percentÂ of the proceeds will be donated to Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter of Charlotte and 15 percent to the Alphi Chi Omega Foundation.
â€śOur goal was $11,000 but weâ€™ve already raised $12,000 and that makes me happy because now we have an extra thousand to give to Safe Alliance.â€ť said Thompson.
Thrilled with the community and student body support, AXO chapter president Taylor Sharpe shared her thoughts on the successful afternoon.
â€śItâ€™s been amazing. Last year I know we didnâ€™t have nearly this many people. So seeing that this is only our second time hosting the event and doubling the attendance that we had last year is phenomenal,â€ť said Sharpe.
Also co-hosting for the second year in a row, Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) showed their support throughout the day. The brothers of SAE provided and served 150 hot dogs and hamburgers for participants, ran in the 5K and offered continuous moral support.
SAE member Shayfer Early was one of the many first-time attendees.
â€śDomestic violence is a serious issue. Itâ€™s something that goes on kind of underground and a lot of times itâ€™s not reported. Itâ€™s a bigger issue than people realize so events like this bring positive awareness to it,â€ť said Early.
Several other members of the UNC Charlotte Greek community also showed their support in attendance.
â€śDomestic violence is hard to talk about because there is a stigma around it,â€ť said AXO alumna and philanthropy advisor Amanda Whittemore. â€śWeâ€™re happy to help bring light and promote healthy relationships rather than only focus on the negative parts. We really want to promote positivity and love each other.”
The Kappa Rho chapter plans to establish the Cupid Shuffle 5K as an annual community event.