GlobeMed hosts 5k to support the health of Equadorian communities

Fanny Lau

(Photo courtesy of Brielle Bartes)

GlobeMed, a non-profit campus organization committed to improving global health, held their first 5k run last Sunday morning. Despite strong winds, over 20 people gathered at the start line in front of the Wellness Center to run a course that snaked through the east side of the campus and the neighboring Appleton community.

Called “Strip for Solidarity,” the event encouraged participants to donate clothes to Goodwill before the race began. All proceeds raised from the 5k went to GlobeMed’s partner organization in Ecuador, Fundación Promoción de Niños Indígenas Discapacitados, or FUNPRONID. This Ecuadorian organization provides the communities of Licto and Rio Bamba with access to better health care, education and living conditions.

The 5k race was one of many firsts for GlobeMed this year. Founded just last September by sophomore Bethany Larsen, GlobeMed has worked hard in not only raising money for FUNPRONID, but in establishing itself as an organization on campus. From holding a benefit concert to selling Ecuadorian bracelets, Globemed has raised more than half of their target goal for the year.

The race drew not only students, but also a university professor and a member from the Appleton community. Assistant Professor of Government and Stephen Edward Scarff Professor of International Affairs Jason Brozek, who simultaneously ran and pushed his young daughter in a stroller from the beginning to the end, said, “The race was a well-organized event for a great cause, and I’m always happy to run any race where I have a chance of not finishing last.”

Freshman Alex York, however, had higher goals for himself during the race. He crossed the finish line first with a time he claimed “should have been shorter.” Some students took the name of the race literally — freshman Kevin Specht ran in nothing but his t-shirt and underwear.

The campaign’s coordinators, freshmen Diane McLeod and Kate Rosenbalm, commented that they were “very pleased with the turnout for the run, especially because it was held so early on a Sunday.”

When asked about her reasons for showing up; Junior Lauren Hall said, “I really like the mission of GlobeMed, and the enthusiasm of the members made it hard to turn down.”

GlobeMed raised over $285, deeming the race an overall success. The money will go towards local school scholarships for Ecuadorian children who cannot afford an education.

Rosenbalm said, “We really appreciated those who showed up at our events to help our cause, and we hope to expand on campus.”

Four GlobeMed members will also be going to Licto to work with FUNPRONID this summer. Sophomore Emma Kane said, “We are very excited to help combat poverty in this rural community, especially after working so hard to fundraise all year.”

With a successful year behind them, Larsen noted that Lawrence should “watch out for GlobeMed next year because [they] have already made huge steps.

Currently, GlobeMed is organizing a penny war at a local Appleton elementary school and planning a benefit dinner for next year. The benefit dinner will consist of a keynote speaker and multiple roundtable discussions with notable public health figures to advance on campus the movement for global health equity.