Color, charity and competition
Last Easter, Martha Haynes ’16 lost everything she owned in a housefire. On September 22, her alma mater will sponsor a 5K color run that will raise funds for the non-profit clinic that came to her aid.
Grace Gate Clinic, established in 2010 and located in Clarkesville, provides healthcare and health education to about 250 Habersham County residents who cannot afford insurance. Shortly after the fire, Haynes, who had been a patient at the clinic, told employees at the center about the fire.
“They prayed with me and gave me the medications I needed and really took care of my healthcare,” she said.
The fourth annual color run is sponsored by the Piedmont American Marketing Association (AMA) and track & field/cross country teams. A color run is like any other 5K, only its runners are doused in colored powder at the end of the race.
All proceeds from the event benefit the Grace Gate Clinic. Alex Childers founded the event in 2013 when he and a group of students wanted to develop a marketing plan to drive donations to the charity. The race has since become a Piedmont tradition while raising nearly $4,000 for Grace Gate.
During the past few years, Piedmont has hosted the event on the college’s annual family day, which has generated many more participants of all age groups. The route, which will wind through campus and parts of Demorest, will begin and end at the Mize Center. At the conclusion of the race, runners will be doused in a cloud of color.
Business professor and AMA faculty sponsor Steve Carlson, said the event has a dual purpose. It raises funds for a deserving local charity and gives marketing students practicable experience. Piedmont students help develop marketing materials for the race and visit with local business to promote the event, hang up posters and solicit donations for Grace Gate.
“Everyone benefits from this,” says Carlson. “And it illustrates Piedmont’s commitment to community service and experiential learning.”
The 5K Color Run is just the surface of Grace Gate and Piedmont College’s relationship. Anyone can volunteer at the Grace Clinic as a financial partner, a clinic volunteer, or a prayer partner. Many Piedmont sports medicine majors volunteer at Grace Gate on Tuesday nights.
For more information about the race, visit the color run webpage.
-- by Olivia Morley '19