By Kingsley Hunter
CHESAPEAKE, VA — Norfolk State University’s student organizations and alumni raised $56,783 at last week’s first-ever Virtual 5k Walk/Run for Scholars. There were 698 donors and 161 fundraisers, and the money will go to funding student scholarships.
NSU student leaders and alum put their cardiovascular work on display by walking or running 3.1 miles in hopes to raise $50,000 for their alma mater. Some alumni participated in the virtual walk/run in Chesapeake City Park.
“We support our youth, our students, and we have to give back to accomplish that,” NSU Alumna Helena Dodson said. “One of the things that we normally talk about is getting out and walking, and I know it needs to be done. To stay around and help the kids, we must have our bodies in order. It’s hard sometimes, but I have friends to encourage me. If I can’t do it, I bring people who can.”
Tressa Hundley, a 2007 NSU alumna, also wanted to support students during the Virtual 5k.
“I try to give back to my university as much as possible,” Hundley said. “This event is important because we want to give back to our university and the students coming after us.”
The Virtual 5k was coordinated by the NSU Foundation, Inc., and led by Earl Lee, class of 1984. He’s also on the NSU Foundation Board.
“This fundraiser is important because it has brought the community together,” he said. “When I think of the Spartan Nation, it is not just alumni, it is our students, family, friends, coworkers and the surrounding community. During the fundraiser, we reclaimed donor support, got our students engaged and the Alumni Chapters stepped up to help make this fundraiser a success.”
Public health was also an important part of the Virtual 5k event.
“When I think of public health, I think of our social responsibility to one another, preparedness, and prevention,” Lee said. “We saw during the recent pandemic that wearing a mask would help protect you and others from getting sick, yet many people rebelled against wearing a mask. I think about public equity, ensuring we remove barriers that prevent some communities from receiving healthcare information. The best medical care is prevention, but people need information first.”
Sharon Johnson-Clayton, a 1985 NSU alumna, expressed her feelings on the importance of health and giving back to her alma mater.
“Fundraising is a team effort in general and we need to realize that students need our help,” Johnson-Clayton said. “Norfolk State is one of the best Historically Black Colleges in the country, and people are now recognizing that.”
For more information on how to donate, visit app.mobilecause.com/vf/NSUFCares or text NSUFCares to 71777.