UNI Women in Business gives back through running event
In the years leading up to 2019, the UNI Women in Business organization was looking for a connection to the Iowa Women’s Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to bettering the lives of women in Iowa. They just didn’t know how.
So when an opportunity presented itself to take over the annual Cedar Valley Run Like a Mother event, the organization leaped at the chance.
Run Like a Mother was created 15 years ago by Chicks for Change, a Cedar Valley group of women, and acted as a fundraiser for the Iowa Women’s Foundation.
From the very beginning, UNI Women in Business had a strong reputation to work with. The race was respected in the community and routinely boasted a strong turnout. While the organization wanted to carry on that legacy, it also added a few of its own touches, like handing out flowers at the finish line and shortening the distance from four miles to five kilometers. The location was also moved to Big Woods Park in Cedar Falls.
Madison Sallee, currently the vice president of UNI Women in Business, was in charge of community outreach when the organization took over the event. She became the point person for planning Race Like a Mother. A runner herself, Sallee was passionate about putting on a strong race while supporting a good cause.
Her dedication and the hard work of other students made the event, which was held on a cold and rainy morning on May 11, a resounding success.
About 285 people participated, and awards were given to a variety of individuals — fastest mother, fastest mother with a stroller, fastest father and fastest runners in different age ranges. In all, Run Like a Mother raised $6,000 for the Iowa Women’s Foundation.
“It was really exciting to see it all come together,” Sallee said. “It’s the biggest event I’ve put together. Not having a ton of experience, it was cool to put something so big together. A big part of it was supporting the Iowa Women’s Foundation as well.”
Perhaps what was most impressive was the effort put in from students to make the event such a success. Katie Hillyer, the director of the Professional Readiness Program and adviser to the group, said the students largely handled the planning on their own.
“It was really exciting for me to see the energy the students had planning the event,” Hillyer said. “I was out of the country the last couple weeks leading up to the race and they handled everything flawlessly on their own without me.”
UNI Women in Business is already planning next year’s race, which will take place on May 9, 2020.