Shannon McNamara 4K Run to honor former KSS student, Alpha Phi member

Adam Shay, Staff Reporter

As spring approaches, so does the 15th annual Shannon McNamara Memorial Scholarship 4K run at the Panther Trail.

The run is set for 9:30 a.m. April 21 at the Panther Trail and Pavilion.

Every year, this memorial scholarship run takes place to honor the life of Shannon McNamara, a former student in the kinesiology and sports studies department and a member of Alpha Phi who was murdered in June 2001.

This event is run by the department and sorority, who raise scholarship money for the winner of the race. To show the importance of honoring McNamara, preparations for the race have been going on for months.

“The executive board sat down in January and we started planning what we wanted and needed for the event,” Caro Lamarque, president of the kinesiology and sports studies club, said.

The goal of the meeting was to inform members on what areas needed the most help and to divide them up into subcommittees.

As the president, Lamarque has overseen surveying all the subcommittees and specifically, she manages registration and T-shirts.

Since the community becomes heavily involved with this event, the largest subcommittee focuses on donations.

Organizers of the 4K walk around the community, asking businesses and going door-to-door for donations.

“All donations go into the scholarship fund, or if the business can’t give a monetary amount, (they) give an item, such as a gift card or membership we raffle off,” Lamarque said.

For participants, there is a $20 registration fee to participate, which usually provides fruit and snacks for the runners at the end of the race. Participants can receive a T-shirt if signed up by a certain date.

The process of spreading the word about the run throughout campus is not just the kinesiology and sports studies department’s job.

Since McNamara has made such an impact on the Eastern community, other organizations help with spreading the word about the event.

“Another major part is publicity,” Lamarque said.

“Besides getting the department involved, Alpha Phi tries to get other Greek life involved while the athletes talk to their teams and other teams as well.”

Through social media, there is now a Facebook page to reach out to the community besides from word of mouth.

Senior Alpha Phi member Alex Hinzpeter has contributed to this event by finding organizations to come to the run, as well as making sure all Alpha Phi members are registered. Every year, current and past members join to honor McNamara and her family.

“It is very important to us though because she was a sister and we do everything to support past sisters of our chapter,” Hinzpeter said. “I like seeing everyone that comes out and is just there to support her family. You see everyone come together to remember Shannon.”

Adam Shay can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]