HGHW, CVC sponsor Freaky 5k fun run
Last year's Freaky 5K.
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On Saturday, Oct. 22, a predicted 250 competitors will gather on the Hill in their scariest costumes for the third annual Hardy Girls Healthy Women’s (HGHW) Freaky 5K Fun Run & Walk. The event, which attracts Colby students and Waterville residents alike, helps raise awareness in the community about the sexualization of Halloween costumes for young girls.
HGHW’s mission as a local organization is to educate young girls in the Waterville area about the negative effects of societal and media pressures on their everyday lives. Its goal for this year’s run is to raise $12,000 for its Girls’ Coalition Groups program, which serves 200 middle school girls in the greater Waterville area through a partnership with the Colby Volunteer Center (CVC) and the Education Program at Colby. The Girls’ Coalition Groups are co-led by Colby students and empower girls and women to live healthy lives and become agents of change in their communities.
Following a successful road race organized in partnership with the CVC in 2009, HGHW decided to organize another 5K around Halloween to call attention to the worrisome trend of the obscenity of girls’ Halloween costumes.
“When we were kids, Halloween used to be about dressing up in fun or scary costumes,” Amanda Lavigueur ’13, CVC assistant director, said. “In the time since we’ve moved into adulthood, the whole atmosphere of choosing costumes has really changed.”
Young girls today are more often buying their Halloween costumes in stores instead of creating their own, but the options on sale encourage them to dress in ways that are provocative and inappropriate for their age.
With the media becoming more and more a part of young girls’ lives, this HGHW event promotes an idea of self-worth that goes beyond physical appearance and encourages young girls to get creative and feel empowered to be more conscious in their choices.
“The run is an important event because sexualized costumes are really popular and not only take away from the spirit of Halloween, but also teach young girls that it is ok to objectify themselves,” Hannah Shapiro, HGHW volunteer and co-leader of the Girl’s Coalition Group, said.
Executive Director of HGHW Megan Williams agreed. “Our goals are to bring scary back to Halloween and get 250 runners and walkers dressed up in their scariest and most creative costumes,” she said.
Prizes for the scariest and most creative Halloween costumes will be awarded at the costume contest before the run. “I was wild about the Colby Tennis Team that came as a deck of cards one year,” Williams said. The largest team and the team that raises the most funds will also receive special prizes. This year, several campus groups including the Student Government Association, Student Health On Campus and Male Athletes Against Violence, are participating in the event.
“My favorite part of the event is the opportunity to see the Colby community come together with our friends and supporters from the Waterville community to support an organization that really straddles both, and all for the benefit of youth in this area,” Williams said. “The CVC staff has also been stellar in supporting programs and fundraising for our programming. Each year, we’re blown away by the passion and commitment we witness in our Colby volunteers and interns.”
“We’ve been working hard to schedule and organize the logistics, and we’re hoping this year will be another success,” Lavigueur said. “It’s definitely an important issue that’s starting to take center stage, especially with the gender issues occurring on campus.”
The CVC will be tabling in Pulver this week to sign students up individually or in teams. Students can also sign up online. Registration costs $15, and the first 100 will receive a free T-shirt.