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Flaherty Hall hosts first color run to benefit breast cancer research

Runners on South Quad on Saturday morning will turn pink for a cause at Flaherty Hall’s color run, the Flaherty Fights 5K.

“Flaherty Fights 5K is our revamped signature event supporting breast cancer awareness and research,” junior and Flaherty Hall vice president Karina Solman said. “In the past, we have done Flaherty Fights, a tabling bake sale event in [LaFortune Student Center], but this year, we decided to amp it up to a color run 5K with pink powder and pink-themed snacks and t-shirts at the finish line.”

This will be the first year Flaherty has held a 5K run. Solman said the hall executives wanted a new signature event that was “more fun, interactive and campus-and-community-facing,” while still retaining the enjoyment the bake sale event brought attendees in years past.

All proceeds from the 5K will be donated to the breast cancer research program at Saint John’s Cancer Institute, which is based out of Santa Monica, California.

The Flaherty Fights 5K will take place Saturday, Oct. 1, at 9 a.m. by the South Quad flagpole. (Courtesy of Gracie Wetli)

Solman said hall executives settled on Saint John’s after Flaherty donor and namesake Mary Hesburgh Flaherty visited the dorm last spring and talked to its residents about her life and charity work.

“This event means a lot to all of us in Flaherty because Mary Flaherty is a breast cancer survivor,” Solman said. “When she came and spoke to us last year, we were all moved by her story.”

Solman added that when she, Flaherty Hall president Gracie Wetli and co-vice president Ceci Driano assumed their roles in hall government last spring, they wanted to make their dorm’s signature event “extra special.”

After deciding the event would be a 5K, “we reached out to Mary Flaherty about where she would like the proceeds to go, and she suggested St. John’s … she has been chair of the board of their foundation in the past and is still very much involved with them,” Solman said. “They have a world-renowned breast cancer research program and also work in promoting awareness for women, so she told us that they would be honored to be the recipients of our fundraising efforts.”

The 3.1-mile run will begin at the South Quad flag pole at 9 a.m. Saturday. Participants can register the morning of the run beginning at 8:15 a.m. or online in advance using Student Shop ND. Registration is $15 per participant.

Hall president Wetli encouraged anyone interested to participate, even those who do not consider themselves runners.

“Since this is a color run 5K, it is meant to be very lighthearted and fun,” she said. “Walkers are more than welcome to participate in the 5K, and you will be supporting a great cause in the process. There will also be a free shirt for participants while supplies last.”

Wetli added that both 5K participants and others should come to the bake sale at the start and finish line, which will have donuts and bagels.

“We are very proud of the effort put forth by many members of the Flaherty Hall community to make this event happen. Our signature events commissioners, Celeste Hirschi, Jane Stallman and Adi Yabut, have been extremely helpful in planning this event,” Welti said. “I would also like to give a special thanks to our hall staff … for supporting us in planning this event. We have gotten to work with parking service, RecSports and various vendors throughout the process.”

Contact Claire Reid at creid6@nd.edu