OXFORD – Last year at the first Color Invasion Oxford event, more people turned out than predicted. This year, even more are expected.
What is Color Invasion Oxford? It’s a 5K run/walk with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association. It’s at 8 a.m. on Oct. 31, and it begins and ends at Stone Park.
“The Mississippi Alzheimer’s Association hosts a walk every year to raise money, and it’s called the Walk to End Alzheimer’s,” said Lori Hannah, the sales and marketing manager at Brookdale Oxford. “Their theme this year is ‘Be a Super Hero: Fight for Alzheimer’s.’ We give the money we raise to the walk to end Alzheimer’s.”
Hannah said she attributes the idea to another person who is involved in the event.
“Caroline Frazier of Providence Companion Care of Oxford had this crazy idea to do a color run, and I thought it was a great idea,” Hannah said.
So now they’re doing it for a second year.
“We were looking for a way to really boost awareness and fundraising for this cause,” Frazier said. “We all got together and decided to do a color run. It was a huge success. Last year we had over 700 involved in it.”
Frazier said getting more people involved is one of the key factors to its success.
“It was so important for us to get the Oxford community involved,” she said. “The Alzheimer’s Association is based out of Jackson, so for us it was so important to do something like this here.”
It’s a fun event and one that leaves participants a bit off color, you might say. Or maybe in full color would be a better way to describe things.
“Everybody wears white,” Hannah said. “We start and end at the Stone Center. Basically you run or walk the route, and along the route there are color stations. You go by and they throw color at you, so you come out tie-dyed from top to bottom.”
"It’s just colored corn starch and it comes out of your clothes,” Hannah added.
She also said the event is open to all, and the fact that it isn’t necessarily a competitive run or walk makes it unique and available to more participants.
“It’s not a timed run, so anyone can do this,” she said. “It is a complete fun run. We had people pushing strollers in it last year. The only thing is four-legged friends are not allowed. The powder from the color is not good for them.”
The cost of the run is $40 for adults and $20 for those 13 and younger. Participants who sign up early will get a T-shirt.
“We were blown away last year,” Frazier said. “We had an unbelievable amount of people who participated in this, strictly because it was based on raising awareness for Alzheimer’s.”
“We had one little girl who wore a T-shirt that said ‘In memory of my grandpa’ and it was just precious,” Hannah said.
“So many people thanked us for bringing awareness. So many are affected by this disease," Frazier said. "That’s been huge for us, just hearing people talk about Alzheimer’s and to raise awareness.”
Hannah said Alzheimer’s is already a part of many families and lives.
“I see Alzheimer’s affect people every day. Statistics say it affects 5.3 million Americans. One in three seniors will die from Alzheimer’s or dementia, and it’s the sixth leading cause of death in the United States.”
The residents at Brookdale Oxford are also involved.
“We’re selling the footprints (posters) and our residents are buying them in honor of, or in memory of, to raise money here in the community,” Hannah said. “I think last year our community alone raised $1,200 just by selling footprints.”
To register online go to: www.racesonline.com/events/colorinvasionoxford or go by either Brookdale Oxford at 100 Azalea Drive, or Providence Companion Care at 317 Heritage, Suite 7-A in Oxford. The Stone Center address for the event on October 31 is 423 Washington Avenue, Oxford.