It’s been two weeks since the Frosty Owl 5K and I am still in disbelief at how many came to support the 1st Annual 5K for Athens Technical College’s Alumni Association. Many of you were curious as to how I was involved with this. I realize now, I never really told the story behind the Frosty Owl. July of last year, I took office as President of the Alumni Association for Athens Tech. I was very active in leadership roles as a student while getting my degrees from the college and my first full-time job was at the college as well. I was called one evening last year and was asked to come back and sit on the board for the college. I didn’t want to turn down the opportunity so I accepted. As a technical college, it’s very hard to get people involved in different roles because of the demographics that surrounds technical education. With low participation from alumni, I came up with this fundraiser hoping to increase our alumni membership. Therefore, the Frosty Owl idea was born and I took the role of race director.
Preparation: Months and months of planning paid off in the end. Not too many people realized, that I planned this 5K pretty much by myself. Like I said, it’s hard to get people active in these kind of roles. For months I went around to different businesses and friends asking for sponsorship money. In the beginning, I didn’t think I could pull off such an awesome event but slowly sponsorships starting pouring in. We had some amazing sponsors that helped make our event a success. See the list of sponsors below. Thank you to these amazing sponsors for supporting education! After securing sponsorship, it came time to promote. I pulled out all the stops for promotion. Apparently, I have an eye for marketing and it’s something I truly enjoy. Designing the t-shirt was one of my favorite things about this 5K. One evening, I sat down to design this shirt and within a couple of hours the little owl was born. At first, I was nervous about the design wondering if it was good enough to be published on shirts. I took a chance and put it out on social media. Little did I know, the majority of the people coming to the event was coming to get one of the shirts. It’s a cool feeling to know people will be wearing your design. I also had the opportunity to pick out the awards and design the medals. I decided it would be a cute and unique thing to do bobble head owls for the overall winners and medals for the age groups.
Race Day: January 20th came around very fast. I tried very hard to make this a fun event for all of my sweet friends who came to support me with this fundraiser. Therefore, I pulled out all the stops and made sure everything was as organized as it could be. My favorite part was seeing all of my friends there and watching them get excited over our owl mascot and overall just having a good time. It was fun to watch my friends enjoy the race in a different perspective. Hands down best feeling seeing them get excited over something you worked so hard for. I was very proud of this event. As with all things, there were a few things I wish I could have done differently but overall it was a huge success and something the college was shocked by. I wish I had taken the time to thank the volunteers ahead of time and our sponsors. I also wish our college administration had taken the time to help me with this. It would have been better coming from our administration but it seemed to go overlooked which was a bummer for me. Needless to say I have a few things to say about my amazing volunteers. Keep reading!
Volunteers: Many of you don’t know this but all of my volunteers were coworkers of mine. I don’t know how or why I got so lucky with having amazing coworkers. Coworkers who I get to call my friends! It came down to a few weeks out with no volunteers what so ever. So I decided to ask the guys at work if they could help me. Needless to say they are all so sweet, that every single one of them on my team came to volunteer. Keep in mind, none of them have anything to do with the college or the alumni association. I can’t thank these guys enough for spending their Saturday off to help me. They all did an amazing job and I was am so proud to be able to work with an amazing group. These guys were supposed to only be course monitors but they ended up handing out race packets, setting up tables, and helping vendors setup tents. They went beyond what I asked of them which was such a blessing to me. I had so many of you comment about how great the volunteers were. Well these guys are the CCSD Tech Team and always go above and beyond on any tasks sent their way. Such a special group of guys that I can never ever thank enough!
Assistant Race Director: The guy in the middle of the picture above was an important part of the Frosty Owl 5K! This guy spent hours among hours helping me put together this 5K. Again he has nothing to do with the college or the alumni association. Just a great friend of mine who has a big heart. I’m pretty sure there are not many guys in the world that will sit and listen to someone go on and on about 5K shirts, awards, sponsorships, spreadsheets, race numbers, etc. I’m also pretty sure there are not many guys who will help someone put together race packets and drive around trying to get stuff done for a 5K event. Also pretty darn sure there are not many who will wake up at 5 AM to get to someone’s house to load up boxes and get to a park before day light. Who else knows someone who will unload 4 different cars, setup tables and tents, and take a course map out of my hand and make sure course monitors get to the right location on time? While I was running around answering questions and making sure registration went smoothly, he was out driving monitors around and explaining the course so the monitors could point runners in the right direction. I am pretty sure I didn’t ask him to do it alone but he did anyway because he knew I was slammed. He did an amazing job and I am so proud that I get to be his friend! I could not have done this without him! Y’all the Frosty Owl wouldn’t have been half of what it was without this one! I can’t thank him enough! Y’all give him a hug the next time you see him! (The sweet person on the right is his momma! She walked her first 5K and placed second in her age group at 73 years old).
Athena The Owl: Athens Tech has this cute little owl mascot named Athena. I knew in the beginning stages of planning, Athena had to make an appearance at the 5K. Like I guessed, Athena was the life of the party. Little did you know, the person rocking the owl costume was another one of my awesome coworkers walking around for your entertainment. You are probably wondering how in the world did I talk him in to being an owl. It was easy, I promised him Mexican food. This guy has the best personality and one of the happiest/nicest people you will meet who you guessed it loves Mexican food. I think he had just as much fun as y’all did taking pictures.
Running Family: THANK YOU to every single person in my running family who came to support me and this 5K! I have the sweetest friends in the world. It meant more then you will ever know to see all of your sweet faces cross the finish line. Love you all! Overall we had 236 people register and 200 of those people crossed the finish line. A few did not know to turn their cards in. Results can be found here.
Sponsors: All of our sponsors were an important part of the Frosty Owl 5K and I cannot thank each of these businesses enough for their support of our Alumni Association. It is people like them that make the community such a great place. Thank you so much! I am working on sending out thank you letters to all the sponsors but I wanted to say a few things here about a few of our sponsors.
- Peach State Federal Credit Union: I had the opportunity to work with Develon from Peach State who was our gold sponsor. Peach State does amazing things supporting education not only in the Athens community but throughout the state of Georgia. Athens Technical College is proud to have a partnership with such a great organization. In need of a loan or looking to switch banks, go see my friend Develon at Peach State in Athens. Tell him I sent you!
- Misty’s Pawperties: Two of the best people you will ever meet. These people are great friends of mine who flip and rent houses. They have a love for Huskies and have the biggest hearts that care for these sweet loving dogs. Thank you for everything you do for me! Your support means more then I can ever tell you!
- Yoga And You: If you are ever near Madison County and in the market to try Yoga, this is the place for you. The owner, Cheryl’s classes are filled with laughter, relaxation, and love! She is a great Yoga instructor and really cares about her student’s. Now that I am a Yoga instructor, I still get to learn from one of the best. I feel like I have learned more from watching her teach then I did in my six month’s of training. Thank you for supporting me and the 5K! Also thank you for being the best volunteer and taking the best pictures of the 5K!
- TEAM DLK: These guys are true examples of great people! They have a love for running, obstacle races, and trail races. It’s amazing to see what they do every weekend. No matter if they are running a 5K or jumping over obstacles on a Spartan Beast course, they absolutely kill it! I am so thankful I get to be friends with this awesome group of guys! Thank you for supporting me and the 5K! You will never know how much it meant to have TEAM DLK representing at the 5K.
And a HUGE Thank you to our other sponsors:
- Stare Granite & Bronze
- CoxMedia Group
- VEND Food Services
- Jackson Pharmacy
- Get Fit & Pretty Mama
- Heyward Allen
- Dr. Al Shakleford
- Terry Wingfield
- Athens Orthopedic Clinic
- First Madison Bank & Trust