» By Myranda harrison
Many students and members of the APSU community raised money and awareness for brain injuries by walking or running in the Clarksville Walk for Brain Injury, on Saturday, March 23.
This was the first Walk for Brain Injury event in Clarksville and the second one in Tennessee. The event was sponsored by three organizations: The Pre-Professional Health Society, APSU’s Alpha Gamma Delta sorority and the Student Nurses Association. The event helped raise $6,800 to benefit the Brain Injury Association of Tennessee.
The participants were given the option of competing in one of two routes, one was a 5K run and the other was a 1.9 mile walk.
Samantha Monk, the executive coordinator for Walk for Brain Injury and president of the Pre-Professional Health Society, led the event. She pointed out that they wanted to do something that would make a difference, honoring her friend that she lost to a brain injury.
“This event was definitely a success,” Monk said.
The cold weather did not keep people from wanting to raise awareness for brain injury and cross the finish line. The run and walk started at 9:30 a.m. and people on the runner’s side were crossing the finish line before 10 a.m.
Jason Hodge, a Clarksville resident, came in first place. He ran the 5k route in 20 minutes and 55 seconds. Hodge ran to support his wife’s nursing program. His wife Karla Hodge is a senior nursing student at APSU and is also the vice president of SNA.
She said, “It was a blast,” and she would definitely do it again.
France Kyle, a military specialist at Fort Campbell, came in second place on the runner’s side, crossing the finish line in 22 minutes and 34 seconds.
Not far behind Kyle was Gene May, another Clarksville resident who ran pass the finish line in 22 minutes and 35 seconds. It was not long before the rest of the participants began to cross the finish line as well.
Sonia Kessler, junior nursing student at APSU came in first place for the walker’s course. She did not cross the finish line by herself, but with her baby daughter with her as she pushed her in her stroller.
Lisa Olds, senior nursing student and race participant, wasn’t just walking to help support SNA, but also in honor of a 10-year-old boy named Kenneth Cathlaw who just so happens to have a brain injury himself. This was a “good cause,” Olds said.
Payton Baggett, a junior communications major at APSU and the president of Alpha Gamma Delta was one of the walkers who helped to sponsor and raise money.
“I believe this cause is important to the community because of the amount of military it affects. Alpha Gamma Delta hopes to continue to sponsor this event in the future,” Baggett said.
All the winners from each route received a certificate, but in all, everyone was a winner with a total of $6,800 raised for the cause.