Posted On: Wednesday, December 10, 2014 08:00 AM, by Olivia Lewis
Olivia on race day.
I was not a runner, but I wanted to support CASA. Theta gave me the strength and encouragement to do both.
As a staunch non-runner, my initial decision two years ago to run for CASA was started by another Theta alumna, Theresa Olson (Epsilon Nu/Virginia Tech). At the time, she was the CASA chair for the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter. We initially discussed the CASA run at a school supply drive held by the chapter. She had recently begun running, and helped get me motivated to conquer the 5K. I couldn't run in last year's race due to a scheduling conflict, but decided in June to take on the challenge of running a half marathon with a friend.
Fast-forward to the Baltimore Running Festival this year, and I was really nervous the morning of the race. At the CASA tent, I met two other young women at the CASA tent, one who had run the half before and was a CASA volunteer, and one who was also a first-timer and had come home from college to run. We talked strategy and goals for the race, trying to get into a good realistic mindset for completing. The half marathon itself started well, but ended up really being a challenge. It was motivating on the course to see other people wearing the highlighter yellow CASA superhero shirts. Around mile 7 or 8, I saw another person in a CASA superhero shirt coming out from a lap around the lake, which gave me more energy as I was starting to get tired. Overall, being part of the larger CASA group and running for a cause really gave me a sense of purpose while I was completing the race.
I did most of my fundraising on Facebook through family, friends, and other networks (social sports groups, work, etc.). I posted updates on my training with the fundraising link so more people could see the progress and be engaged in the process. Two of the people who donated for my run were in my Theta new member class—one who is in Philadelphia and one who is serving in the Army abroad. Countless others supported me through liking my statuses and leaving comments. All in all, I raised $1,415—and our CASA running group raised more than $36,000—for Maryland CASA! Whether they donated or served as moral support, it was great to have their contributions help me with my personal goal and help a cause that is so special to me.
Olivia Lewis, Epsilon Lambda/Dickinson, is the membership communications coordinator for the Baltimore Alumnae Chapter, and is a Life Loyal member.