Run for the Kids: Auburn's Annual Fall 5K

Fall has officially arrived and for Auburn, that means endless amounts of activities for students and the community. Among football games, Miss Homecoming elections, sorority and fraternity activities and all SGA sponsored events, getting involved is a guarantee.

Auburn University’s Student Government Association is responsible for several events in the community. The cabinet division of the organization is divided into specific groups and each group is responsible for planning campus and community festivities and fundraisers. Cabinet handles everything from environmental awareness to blood drives to city relations to Auburn’s famous Hey Day.

One of the SGA’s most popular events is the Fall 5K, and it’s just around the corner taking place on Sunday, Oct. 18, at 5:30 p.m. Registration begins at 4 p.m.

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The Fall 5K is a 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race, benefitting Auburn’s United Way chapter of Project Uplift. The race begins on Cater Lawn and follows a course through Auburn’s campus. Rachel Rhyne, a sophomore at Auburn, is this year’s director of the Fall 5K.

“This is the 15th annual Fall 5K,” Rhyne said, “so my assistants and I have been working really hard to carry on the tradition and make this year’s race special.”

One of the main differences is the online registration. In the past, participants had to register on paper. This year, the committee went green and teamed up with to create an electronic registration form. All you have to do is go to and type in Auburn Fall 5K in the search bar. Individuals, businesses or groups are able to donate money online as well.

“One of the most important parts of my job is going to local businesses and asking for donations,” Rhyne said. “We’ve received a lot of support thus far, but are hoping the online registration and option to donate will bring in more contributions.”

Another difference is a band is scheduled to play after the race. The Fall 5K will continue to have pre and post race activities, door prizes, food, drinks and entertainment. There will be appearances from Aubie and other campus organizations. Last year, more than $5,000 was raised and about 300 individuals participated.

“I would say the main reason I wanted to get involved in planning the Fall 5K is because of its benefit to Auburn’s United Way chapter, Project Uplift,” Rhyne said.

Project Uplift is a big brother/big sister volunteer program in which many Auburn students participate. The program pairs college students with underprivileged children of Lee County to serve as a friend, mentor and roll model. Since 1973, more than 5,500 volunteers and children have participated in the program. Project Uplift values positive attitudes and behavior, encouragement and good study habits through the children.

The program is governed by Lee County Youth Development Center. The cities of Auburn and Opelika, Lee County United Way and various other volunteer programs provide additional support.

“I’m most passionate about the kids and that the contributions for this event go to them,” Rhyne said. “My goal for this year is to pass the number of participants and amount of donations from last year. It’s a great way for the students as well as the community to get involved and give back to the future kids of Auburn University.”

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