Students partake in United Way Walk

113 people braved the rain and cold to take part in the United Way Walk-A-Thon put on by VEGA.  (Claire Chiarelli  | The Oswegonian)
113 people braved the rain and cold to take part in the United Way Walk-A-Thon put on by VEGA. (Claire Chiarelli | The Oswegonian)

Over 100 participants took part in the 23rd Annual 5K United Way Walk-A-Thon, in support of the United Way of Oswego County, on Oct. 4.

VEGA, the junior and senior Women’s Honor Society at Oswego State, hosted the walk. This is one of many events that VEGA puts on throughout the year. Over 30 VEGA members volunteered at the walk.

Allison Provost, president of Vega, said she was happy with the turnout. Last year, the SUNYAC Championships were going on at the same time, so many people chose not to attend.

“It is hard to do events in fall because there are so many other organizations on campus that have events going on,” Provost said. “I am especially grateful there were 113 participants because of the rain, and hopefully next year there will be nicer weather.”

Bridget Jackson, president of Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), did promotional events for the Walk-A-Thon.

“Had the weather been nicer, I do believe there would have been more attendees at the event,” Jackson said. “A number of people contacted me saying the weather had changed their plans for the day.”

As did Provost, Jackson said she was still happy with the turnout. “From a Public Relations standpoint, I think our members did a great job using their own personal connections to promote the event,” Jackson said.

Both students and members of the Oswego community came out. Provost said most of the adults were Oswego State alumni and they like to come out and support the college.

The United Way Walk-A-Thon cost each participant a donation of $5, and the first 150 registrants got a free T-shirt. All participants were provided with free water, apples and granola bars. There were eleven baskets raffled off. All the money raised went to United Way of Oswego County.

(Claire Chiarelli  | The Oswegonian)
(Claire Chiarelli | The Oswegonian)

“It is important as a member of the community, whether as a student or resident, to help those around you and give back,” said Alison McGrath, interim resource development director of United Way.

McGrath said the goal of United Way of Greater Oswego County is to end hunger, help children and youth succeed and the overall health and well-being of the community. United Way impacts these areas by not only being a fundraising arm of the 27 programs that address these needs, but by also providing community collaborations that bring awareness and results to these issues.

“All the money raised specifically by the Walk-A-Thon each year goes into the United Way Community Fund for that years’ campaign,” McGrath said. “The Community Fund helps address some of the issues in our county that maybe aren’t resolved under one of the 27 programs.”

Since the event is an Oswego State event, United Way does not have to prepare for it. However, McGrath said the organization fully supports it, and every year attends the event to say thank you for all the Oswego State campaign does for the United Way of Greater Oswego County.

“Without events like the Walk-A-Thon, our annual campaign could not be as successful as it has been and will continue to be,” McGrath said.