By Marisa DiNovis | The Daily Tar Heel
Participants in Saturday’s fifth annual Eve Carson Memorial 5K for Education wore ribbons in memory of not only one UNC student — but four.
Race volunteers and participants commemorated three UNC students who have died this semester, along with the race’s namesake, Eve Carson. Carson, a former student body president, was murdered in March 2008.
More than 1,500 registered participants shared a moment of silence at the beginning of the event for Carson, Faith Hedgepeth, Trevor Dolan and David Shannon.
The race raised more than $52,000 — a considerable increase from the $30,000 raised in 2011. The money will go to the Eve Carson Memorial Scholarship and two education nonprofits, First Book and CEO 4 Teens.
Waverly Lynch, vice president of philanthropy for Pi Beta Phi sorority, said donations were still being received after the race ended.
Paige Sferrazza, director of the UNC branch of CEO 4 Teens, helped recruit runners and promote the race.
“CEO 4 Teens is all about promoting education — helping kids who wouldn’t otherwise be able to realize their full potential just because of their lack of resources,” Sferrazza said. “It’s helping them get the education they deserve, especially because they want it.”
Speakers at the event included Chancellor Holden Thorp, former Chancellor James Moeser, Student Body President Will Leimenstoll, two Eve Carson Scholarship recipients and Eve’s brother, Andrew Carson.
The cubes on Polk Place were painted for the race, and attendees were encouraged to write memories of the students who have died this year.
Wilson Orr, philanthropy chairman for Phi Delta Theta fraternity, said many members of the chapter were involved in planning the race. Phi Delta Theta and Pi Beta Phi worked together to organize the event.
“It was a full team effort,” Orr said.
Ryan Kaat, a UNC law student, won the race. He was a freshman at UNC when Eve Carson was murdered.
“It’s a really good atmosphere, and it’s definitely for a great cause, and it’s perfect weather today,” Kaat said.
Junior Audrey Willis, who also participated in the race, said she thinks the event had a special significance this year because of the recent UNC student deaths.
“I always liked being a part of something that’s bigger than yourself, and I feel like the sense of community and everybody from different walks of life that come together for a common cause is a joyful thing,” Willis said.
Lynch said Eve Carson’s family, who attended the event, were pleased with the outcome.
“The most memorable part was the moment of silence — when I looked out and saw all of the members of (Pi Beta Phi), (Phi Delta Theta) and all of the participants sharing a moment of silence for Faith, Eve, David and Trevor,” Lynch said.