W&L’s Red Cross Club hosts first 5K

Olivia Shen

Washington and Lee’s Red Cross Club hosted its first major event, a 5K, on Saturday morning to raise money and awareness for the organization.

Uma Sarwadnya, ‘19, is the treasurer of Red Cross Club, which is in its second year as an active club on campus.

“We are a new club and this is our first major event,” Sarwadnya said. “We typically just do a blood drive, and the Red Cross Weekend when Red Cross representatives would come in and talk to us. This time it was our event on campus that was specifically important.”

Over 20 students participated in the 5K, raising about $560 for the club.

“I like running in simple shoes,” a runner said. “Finishing a long run is a very rewarding experience.” Aalekhya Tanali, ‘17, is the president and secretary of Red Cross Club and came up with the idea of Blood Run.

“I think we got this idea because we have seen a lot of successful 5Ks on campus,” Tanali said.

The Red Cross Club formed a team of 15 active members who are mainly responsible for organizing and planning for the whole event. The club sold designed T-shirts to raise money, prepared food and marked the trail for runners.

Since it was the club’s first fundraising event, Tanali said there were a few unexpected obstacles: Handing in the application, communicating with Executive Committee and learning how to cooperate with each other and arrange tasks to group members.

“I think we’ve learned a lot. We learned about the logistical stuff—how things need to be run through EC, how to coordinate with other clubs and talk to people that we need to talk to in order to get this event set up,” Tanali said. “I have had a lot of hours in the club, but we’ve never had this idea of 5K, so it was completely new to us.”

The officers of the club said the bulk of the money raised by the 5K will go to the Red Cross Club for future use.

As a comparably new and rising organization, Red Cross Club is still in its developing stages. But with the incoming class, the club has seen an increase in members and volunteers compared to the year before.

“We’re just trying to gain some establishment. So putting on more events and getting more attendance for our events would be really great,” Sarwadnya said. “It’s great to see the club growing and starting from basically an idea that Aalekhya had.”

The Red Cross Club will be hosting a blood drive in December and plans on improving fundraising efforts.

“No matter how the election turns out, charity and humanity should go on,” said Hanxiao Li, ‘20, a volunteer for the Red Cross Club.