With the intent to help local families suffering from severe or terminal illnesses, VSU’s Accounting and Finance Honors Society, Beta Alpha Psi, is hosting a 5K run for Saturday, Jan. 28. The race was first organized in 2010 by accounting professor Dr. Leisa Marshall after former student Steven Brogdon’s father was diagnosed with stage-four colon cancer.
The news of Brogdon’s father motivated Marshall to gather sponsors and rally community support in order to host the first Honor Our Neighbor 5K/1M fun run.
“The first 5k was a success and she was so excited about how it turned out she wanted it to become an annual event,” Brogdon said. “A year later, Dr. Marshall had to return to her home town in St. Louis to help her father who is battling Alzheimer’s.”
With the sad news of her father’s condition, Marshall was unable to see the race actually become an annual event, but Brogdon pushed for its survival.
“Steven’s brother Clayton, a current BAP membership candidate, approached me and informed me that Steven was going to continue the race in Dr. Marshall’s stead,” Michael Webster, a graduate accounting student, and member of Beta Alpha Psi said.
The Mu Zeta chapter agreed to help finish what Marshall started.
“Steven and Clayton felt that Mu Zeta could help deliver the necessary promotion and community involvement that a successful 5k requires,” Webster said.
This year, BAP will be sponsoring Savannah Dallas, a 6- year-old kindergarten student at Crossroads Baptist School in Valdosta. Dallas was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2009. Scott and Brenda Dallas, her parents, take their daughter to Jacksonville for the required chemotherapy, spinal taps, blood work and other treatments.
“This year Savannah’s illness entered remission, and she actually celebrated with her schoolmates last week,” Webster said. “She will no longer undergo chemo treatments and will receive regular checkups until she is 21.”
Despite celebration, financially, the Dallas family has felt the heavy burden left by medical bills. For the past four months, BAP has met with Brogdon to organize the perfect race for the Dallas family.
“Steven enlisted the help of local running guru Todd Smoot, founder of A Course Line/Finish LLC, a race development program,” Webster said. “Todd handled all the particulars and logistics involved having a race in the city.”
“I know we will never be able to raise enough money to cover all medical costs, but I know when families in the community need our help we will be there to give what we can,” Brogdon said.
BAP has been putting the final touches on the race including gathering sponsors and organizing the finer details.
“The participation has been enormous and we anticipate a great turnout,” Webster said.
“The members of our chapter and the Brogdon family have spent roughly 200 hours working to make the race a reality,” McGregor said.
Runners interested in participating can mail their registration forms to Beta Alpha Psi, c/o Dr. Raymond Elson, CPA, Langdale College of Business, Valdosta, GA 31698.
Runners and sponsors with checks can drop them off at the College of Business in Dr. Elson’s office, Pound Hall room 227.
“On behalf of all of the students of Beta Alpha Psi, we are very pleased to see so much support in our community to help a local family and ready for the event to begin,” Brogdon said.
The race will begin Saturday, Jan. 28 at Mckey Park on Burton Street; across from the Business School. The actual 5K starts at 8 a.m. while the one mile run/walk starts at 9 a.m.