Hardy Girls, Healthy Women get freaky at 5K 'Fun Run' fundra
Donning costumes and running shoes, over 100 students and community members toughed the rain on Saturday morning for the first annual Hardy Girls Healthy Women (HGHW) Freaky 5K Fun Run and Walk, in an effort to "bring scary back" to Halloween.
The event raised $6,000.
HGHW is a nonprofit organization whose mission is: "To create opportunities, develop programs and provide services that empower girls and women." The money raised on Saturday will support HGHW programming and will begin combating the mentality among many girls and young women that Halloween costumes must be sexy and revealing in order to be considered "cool" or to fit in socially. The goal of the event was to "get back to the creative in Halloween," Megan Williams, executive director, said.
Williams presented a variety of awards in the Field House after the participants finished their three-mile run. The Colby Tennis Team, dressed as a deck of cards, won HGHW pint glasses for having the biggest team and Amelia Swinton '10 won the most creative costume award for her cat outfit. Certificates for scariest costume, most funds raised and best race times were also presented.
"I have a lot of admiration for students at Colby College for coming out on a Saturday morning to run for a good cause," Susie Hufstader '12, one of the participants, said.
Marissa Bond is the AmeriCorps*VISTA and outreach coordinator for HGHW. The goal of getting girls to think critically about gender roles in the world around them and breaking away from gender stereotypes was the driving force behind the event, she said.
"It would be really neat," she noted, if the women at the College recognized their position as role models for girls in the community, and that "as a campus...it's not necessary to dress sexy" this Halloween, or any, for that matter. By finding the creative themselves, young students at the College would set a small example that could effect big change within the Waterville community and beyond.
The event featured pamphlets with guides for parents on redirecting their daughters' Halloween choices towards more creative costumes. The recommendations focus on engaging in open, stimulating conversation, in what Williams says is at the root of all HGHW programming. With conversation, she said, "girls can and will make smart decisions for themselves if we give them the space."
HGHW partnered with the Colby Volunteer Center for the fun run and walk.