Alpha Phi holds second annual 5k

By Kristen Charbonneau
On April 29, 2014

  • Last Saturday, UNH’s chapter of Alpha Phi hosted their second annual Move Your Phi’t 5k supporting Women’s Heart Health. They raised $4,000 for the cause. Courtesy of Alpha Phi Sorority

While Saturday's rain canceled most outdoor activities, the sisters of the Alpha Phi sorority kept their spirits high, as they held their second annual Move Your Phi't 5k, raising $4,000 for Women's Heart Health Alpha Phi's international philanthropy.

Alpha Phi established the Alpha Phi Foundation in order to raise money to improve the lives of women with heart disease. Every Alpha Phi chapter across the country is encouraged to promote awareness. For Sarah McVerry, who is the former vice-president of marketing for Alpha Phi as well as a physical education major, this meant revamping their annual event and trying something different.

"I had heard of other chapters doing Move Your Phi't, and I thought it was a wonderful event," McVerry said. "I thought it would be a really cool opportunity to mix my two passions of philanthropy and physical activity."

The Move Your Phi't 5k is a walk around campus that begins and ends at the Alpha Phi chapter house on Strafford Avenue in Durham, N.H. Tickets were $5 per person and included games, raffle prizes and refreshments.

Prior to the Move Your Phi't 5k, the Eta Alpha chapter had put on the annual Eat Your Heart Out eating competition for over 10 years, which raised about $2,000 annually. With the first ever UNH Move Your Phi't event last year, Alpha Phi raised double that.

Half of the proceeds went to the Alpha Phi Foundation for Women's Heart Health, but the Eta Alpha Chapter wanted to do more.

"Last year we found out that the local hospital, Wentworth-Douglass, runs a camp for children with heart disease called Camp Meridian," said Lainey Bernfeld, the current vice president of marketing. "We donate the other half of the proceeds to that."

Due to the positive outcome of last year's walk, Alpha Phi decided to continue the event for another year. 

"Even though it did rain on the day of the walk, we knew that the success of the event last year would bring people back," said sophomore Alpha Phi sister Mia Burnes.

According to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, one-in-four women die from heart disease in the United States. With so many women being affected by heart disease, the sisters wanted to bring together the UNH community as a whole to spread awareness.

"No matter what organization we are apart of or what letters we wear, we all have the opportunity to come together and do amazing things," Burnes said. "The greatest thing about UNH is our ability to support one another and make all of our events a success."

Alpha Phi plans to continue on making their Move Your Phi't event for Women's Heart Health a successful tradition by doing a third walk in April of 2015.

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