- Missouri Evans Scholars gather for group photo at the Evans 5K
It all began back in January; the newly elected executive board took office, and began their term as leaders. The executive board was determined to make this an extremely successful year, not only in the classroom, but also out in the community and in the Scholarship House as well. No one was more determined then Executive Vice President Kenzie Giorgi. Giorgi had a goal in mind to create the first-ever philanthropy event that the Missouri Scholars would host. It was a goal that the chapter had been trying to make happen for a few years, and Giorgi knew, with help from her predecessor, that she could be the first one to implement it.
Weeks passed, philanthropy meetings took place, ideas began to flow. About midway through the semester, Kenzie finally decided what would be happening. A 5K, on a Saturday during the fall. Giorgi and the rest of the chapter took this idea and ran with it. Now, with it being March and the race not going to take place until mid-fall, most of the minor logistics were talked about with the date being confirmed, location and when the start of the race should be. So as the days went by, the semester wound down and our Scholars were preparing for summer once again.
Fast forward to Aug. 22, the first day of classes for the new school year. It was also the start of the beginning stages for major planning of the 5K. Giorgi knew what she had to do, from succeeding in the classroom to balancing out her time for not only the 5K, but making sure there were other opportunities for Scholars to go out and give back in the community. One thing that does not receive light in this story is that other then Kenzie starting and creating this philanthropy event, she also has the task of signing up for service opportunities around Columbia. Examples include the Ronald McDonald House, the local animal shelter, the Food Bank of Central Missouri, etc. There is more then what meets the eye. However, Giorgi was up for this task and again, was determined to have this 5K happen.
To help her throughout this process and make this 5K successful, she split up the planning into several different teams. Teams that would help register the participants when they arrived the morning of, there was also a team for giving out water during the race, a media team so the news of the 5K could be out on all social media platforms, there was even a team dedicated to creating the banners for the finish line and starting line.
When news broke of the event, and when it would be taking place, the chapter was ecstatic. It was finally happening; this was not any groundbreaking event, or an event that would change the chapter forever, but it was something that we wanted to happen, and after years of talk about doing something like this, it was finally set in stone. Now it was just a matter of patience and registering people who would want to partake.
The day finally arrived, and the hype was bigger then ever. The 5K had more than 70 participants, a successful number for the amount of time and planning that was put into this event. It was a glorious October day, sunny and 65 degrees with a lot of smiles all around. A few sororities represented: Pi Beta Phi, Kappa Delta and even Kappa Alpha Theta (our next-door neighbors). There was even a dog that decided to join the festivities.
The main highlight though was how smooth the entire event went. From start to finish our Scholars were all over the race track, from cheering on participants, to taking pictures and handing out water. Trophies were given out to first and second place in both the men's and women's divisions. Our first place finisher for men was Nick Venhaus, who is a senior at Mizzou, and our first place finisher for women was Jacqueline Janorschtke. Our second place finisher for men was Mark Niehaus, brother of current Scholar Ben Niehaus, and the second place finisher for women was Rachel Voigt, who is a Kappa Alpha Theta.
Months of all this preparation and excitement had finally concluded, and in the end it was something that the entire chapter was proud of. Something that this chapter will continue to do for years to come. An event that we can take pride in and include people from all over the Columbia community all for an extraordinary cause. All proceeds went to the University of Missouri Children's Hospital. Our inaugural 5K was one for the record books. Raising over $1,000 dollars and not stopping there. The great thing about this event is that it is something that the Missouri Evans Scholars plan on hosting every fall with our eyes on the future, and it would be an understatement if we were to say that we are excited to see what happens next.
A HUGE thank you goes out to all those who supported this event the entire way. From start to finish it was an exciting race with the product being better then what we expected. Most importantly our final thank you goes out to our amazing executive vice president, Kenzie Giorgi. Without her, this event would have never happened.