The Kola Foundation hosted its second annual April Fools 5k last Saturday, March 30th. The Kola Foundation is a not-for-profit organization run by Illinois MBA students with the mission of bettering the lives of the Lakota people and stimulating economic development on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
With the hopes of bringing two high school students from the Reservation to the University of Illinois, Kola set its fundraising goal at $1,600 which would allow us to provide two $800 scholarships. These scholarships would cover the travel, food, and school supply expenses for students chosen to participate in the Research Apprenticeship Summer Program (RAP), hosted by the College of ACES.
We had over 100 people support the cause, of which 80 raced at the event. Prizes were awarded to the top three male and female participants (Illinois BCS's Amara Andrews finished 2nd place in the female division!), as well as the top team, the fastest Illinois ROTC branch, and the first place male and female over age 40. The snow storm that left us with a whopping foot of snow on Monday threatened attendance, but Saturday brought a beautiful, sunny day with temperatures in the low 50’s. Participants of all ages, even a dog or two, were excited to run the course laid out for us by the Illinois Cross Country team. With help from our sponsors, (Crossfit CU, Illini Union Bookstore, County Market, Illinois MBA, and Illinois Portable Toilets) we were able to provide goody bags with t-shirts, food and water, and an elegant timing system that displayed results online. At the end of the day, we fell just $300 short of our goal, but received some great publicity. If you or anyone you know would like to make a contribution to help our cause, please visit kolafoundation.org. Thanks again to all the participants, volunteers, and sponsors. We look forward to seeing you next year!