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CU to hold ‘Color to Conquer’ to fight obesity and children’s cancer

March 10, 2013
For Immediate Release

By Calen McKinney, Central Kentucky News-Journal

CMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. — It’s a way to fight obesity and cancer, and get a little color.

Those passing by Miller Park on March 16 might see something a bit unusual. People will be sprayed with colored cornstarch as they compete in a 5K walk and run.

And the event will raise money to fight two causes, obesity and children’s cancer.

Campbellsville’s “Color to Conquer” walk and 5K run will be Saturday, March 16, beginning at 8:30 a.m. at Miller Park. Registration begins at 7 a.m.

Throughout the event, organizer Donna Wise said, participants will pass through stations and get “splashed” with colored cornstarch powder. The powder is safe, washable and edible and is comparable to getting into a powdered sugar food fight. Those who will “splash” the participants will make an effort to not splash people in their eyes.

Participants are encouraged to wear white clothing they don’t mind getting dirty.

“You’re going to get this all over your shirt, your hair and everywhere,” she said. “It’s gonna be neat. The kids will enjoy it.” Those who want to participate but don’t want to be splashed can simply avoid the color zones, Wise said.

Registration is $35 for adults ages 18 and older. The fee includes a T-shirt. For children age 17 and younger, registration is $20 with a T-shirt and $15 without.

At the end of the event, at 9:30 a.m., she said, there will be a large splash of color on all participants. “It sort of adds the splash finale to it,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to get out and be active in a fun way. If we could conquer obesity and cancer at the same time … ”

Wise said Campbellsville and Taylor County school systems and Kentucky Christian Academy have been challenged to participate in Color to Conquer. The school with the largest enrollment percentage will be honored and the student from each school system who raises the most money will receive a $75 cash prize.

The purpose of Color to Conquer is two-fold, Wise said, and includes raising money for the annual St. Baldrick’s fundraiser, but also bringing attention to obesity. “We decided to challenge our community to get active,” she said.

Wise said 33 percent of children are obese or are heading in that direction. And by 2030, she said, it is estimated that 60 percent of people will be obese.

Registration for Color to Conquer is available online, though those who want to participate can simply come to the event on March 16.

“We’re just hoping we have a good turnout that day,” Wise said. She said the event also encourages people to go outside and get moving.

“Sometimes [children] don’t realize the joy we experience with play.” Wise, along with Will Patton, Katie Irwin and Jenny Jessie, have spent months planning the event, which will raise money for St. Baldrick’s, which culminates with a head-shaving event Saturday, March 23, at 11 a.m. at the Campbellsville University Powell Athletic Center gymnasium.

St. Baldrick’s is an annual event, which Wise spearheads, to raise money to fight childhood cancers. So far, Taylor County residents have helped raise $220,000 to combat children’s cancer.

Last year, $50,000 was raised, Wise said. This year’s goal, she said, is to hit the cumulative $250,000 mark.

“It’s difficult times, when it comes to funds. Cancer doesn’t choose when it comes around,” she said.

This year’s St. Baldrick’s fundraiser is the community’s sixth, Wise said. At the event, those who are battling cancer and have lost the fight will be honored. She said another child is diagnosed with cancer every three minutes. One in five don’t survive.

“You never want to add to this list,” she said.

Wise’s grandson, Carter, has battled cancer and won, she said. And that fight has made her continue to fight for him and others who battle the disease.

At the St. Baldrick’s event on March 23, Wise said, participants will shave their head for pledges. There will also be a silent auction. The St. Baldrick’s initiative began with three men, Wise said, who challenged each other to raise money.

The challenge has grown to now include millions of people, she said. And all money raised, with the exception of publicity costs, goes directly toward funding children’s cancer research. And this year, like in past years, several women have pledged to shave their heads to raise money.

“For a female to do that … Maybe they look at Robin Roberts and see there is beauty in being bald.” Roberts, a “Good Morning America” host, has battled cancer twice and recently had a bone marrow transplant and returned to work. Wise said some people might be hesitant to shave their heads. ” … But it grows back,” she said.

Wise said she believes Color to Conquer and St. Baldrick’s will both be fun events that will help others. “Take advantage of something that puts a smile on your face,” she said. “I think you’re gonna see lots of smiles and laughter at both events. “I think most people come away with a really good feeling.”

For more information, or to sign up to participate in Color to Conquer, visit For more information about St. Baldrick’s, or to sign up to participate, visit and search for Campbellsville.

Registration forms are available at The Green Room, Campbellsville Apparel and Campbellsville University’s Hawkins Athletic Complex.

More information about Color to Conquer and St. Baldrick’s is also available on Facebook.