This weekend, droves of students listening to ’80s hits will descend upon the Heights-but this time, they won’t be in the Mods. Instead, they will be participating in the Eagles For a Cause 5K Run/Walk. For the first time in its 15-year history, the 5K this Saturday will have a theme: the 1980s.
The 5K was previously called the Boston College MBA 5K challenge, and it raised money for the Doug Flutie Autism Foundation. This year, the event has been rebranded-it has a new name, a theme, and a different organization to support. All proceeds will go to the Dana Farber Cancer Institute through the Jimmy Fund.
The 10-person committee decided to change the event in order to increase participation rates. The old name alienated people who thought it was just for MBA students, said event co-chair Billy Duffey.
“We wanted to promote the event and get as many people involved as possible, so that’s why we changed the name, and we’ve mixed it up this year a bit,” he said.
The Dana Farber Cancer Center was chosen as the charity this year because of the strong connection many BC students have to it-many alums and family members have been treated there, and many CSOM graduates work there. In addition to the new charity, this is the first year the run is ’80s-themed. Duffey got the idea after spending a weekend at an ’80s-themed winter carnival at Dartmouth, he said.
“I just was inspired by the energy that getting dressed up in that type of garb promotes,” he said. “I just think it adds an element of fun to a great day.”
The committee has also been working on raising more money this year. It has been selling neon green t-shirts with “Eagles Say Relax” in black-a nod to ’80s catchphrase “Frankie Says Relax”-and sunglasses that say “Boston College” on the side. In addition, the event organizers will be holding a raffle after the race. Prizes include an iPad mini, a “Bostonian package” that includes Red Sox tickets and dinner for two at the Boston College Club, and an Athlete’s Package that includes sports apparel and a gift certificate to Marathon Sports.
A DJ will be playing ’80s music at the start and finish line on the Bapst line. While the committee spent more money this year than last on the raffle prizes and the DJ, Duffey said that he hopes that the higher prices will pay off in the form of more participants. It currently costs $25 to register online before the event on active.com and $30 to register the morning of the run. Last year, the event raised $5,000.
“We want to break that, and we think we will with our higher registration this year,” he said. “We’ve taken an approach to spend a little bit more on things like the raffle prize, but we feel like that will hopefully pay back. We’re shooting for $6,500 or $7,000.”
Duffey, who said he isn’t much of a runner himself, applied to be on the committee last year because he wanted to do something non-academic and simultaneously give back and help out. Seeing the BC community support the cause by volunteering, racing, or donating was the most meaningful part of the event, Duffey said. After last year’s Marathon, the 5K this year will have a different significance, he also said.
“With all that happened last year with the Marathon, it has a new meaning this year,” he said. “It celebrates the sport.”