Love shouldn’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 sorority’s philanthropy of domestic violence awareness, education and prevention.

Photo courtesy: Emily Yellin of AXO

Capping off AXO’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.

Photo by Aleena Oliveira

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 year’s 5K. In addition, a little over $2,000 in donations and sponsorships was also raised.

“Domestic violence is a big concern and most people don’t talk about it,” said Thompson. “And it’s not just prevention of domestic violence, but also awareness and education that’s important. It’s the whole nine yards we’re trying to cover.”

With the collected total of $12,000+, 85 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Safe Alliance Domestic Violence Shelter of Charlotte and 15 percent to the Alphi Chi Omega Foundation.

“Our goal was $11,000 but we’ve already raised $12,000 and that makes me happy because now we have an extra thousand to give to Safe Alliance.” said Thompson.

Thrilled with the community and student body support, AXO chapter president Taylor Sharpe shared her thoughts on the successful afternoon.

“It’s been amazing. Last year I know we didn’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,” said Sharpe.

Photo by Aleena Oliveira

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.

“Domestic violence is a serious issue. It’s something that goes on kind of underground and a lot of times it’s not reported. It’s a bigger issue than people realize so events like this bring positive awareness to it,” said Early.

Several other members of the UNC Charlotte Greek community also showed their support in attendance.

“Domestic violence is hard to talk about because there is a stigma around it,” said AXO alumna and philanthropy advisor Amanda Whittemore. “We’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.

Photo by Aleena Oliveira
Alyssa Fronk is the Community Editor of the Niner Times. She has worked for the Niner Times since August 2014 and Niner Media since January 2014. She is majoring in Mass Media Communications and double minoring in Journalism and English. Aside from being an avid social media user, she enjoys photography, traveling and all things comical or pop culture. You can contact her at