Upwards of 90 people will gather Saturday at Madison Bowl – the green expanse behind the University of Virginia’s Madison Hall – for a run-a-thon to raise money for a foundation that honors Heather Heyer, the civil-rights activist killed Aug. 12 in Charlottesville when a car plowed into a crowd of counter-protesters following a white supremacy rally.
Andy Page, a fourth-year McIntire School of Commerce student from Warrenton, is the principal organizer of “Together We Run,” a fundraiser he dreamed up after watching the horrific events of that Saturday unfold on national television.
“It was hard seeing Charlottesville on a national stage,” he said. “It felt very weird turning on CNN and seeing live video streams of places on the Downtown Mall where I go every week.”
He knew he wanted to do something. “I sent out an email to a few friends, and I was like, ‘Guys, what is something tangible that we can do to one, help those who were hurt, and two, also convey the message that this isn’t Charlottesville?’”
From that was born “Together We Run,” a series of run-a-thons to support social and racial justice organizations across the Southeast.
The Charlottesville run takes place Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon at Mad Bowl. Organizers say participants can either run laps around Madison Bowl or run longer routes around town.
Runners and walkers are reaching out for sponsors to fund each mile they travel during the three-hour event. People can also give a flat donation or sign up to be runners here.
Proceeds from Saturday’s event will go to the Heather Heyer Foundation’s annual scholarship. The first award will be announced in April and will go to a student whose higher education is dedicated to promoting “peaceful social change for unity and not division of peoples using his or her skills in their profession,” according to the foundation’s website.
The registration fee for each run is $15; participants receive a T-shirt and race-day snacks.
“Together We Run” will hold six run-a-thons in total. The other sites and the local organizations that will benefit from the fundraisers:
- Washington, D.C., Dec. 16:
- Charleston, S.C., Dec 30:
- Miami, Jan 6:
- Austin, Texas, Jan. 13:
- Nationwide, Jan. 13:
That final race is open to people across the country, who will log their miles remotely here.