Xavier students, staff earn top spots in fundraiser

The UNCF 21st Annual Walk/ Run yielded more than 350 participants – local residents, students, faculty and staff – who helped raise approximately $14,000 for Dillard University scholarships and created bragging rights for winners in seven categories at Audubon Park on Oct. 5.

The annual walkathon included seven categories each with a male and female winner who received a plaque: overall, teens, masters, grandmasters, race walkers, Dillard/ Xavier students and Dillard/ Xavier employees.

Xavier students Sidney Harris, 23, and Ebony Harding, 21, won first place again this year in the Dillard/Xavier students’ category. Kenneth St. Charles, 45, and Barbara Hughes, 72, earned the top spots in Dillard/Xavier employees’ category. Both are from Xavier.

Other first-place winners were:

  • Overall: Jacob Schrieffer, 25, and Ebony Harding, 21.
  • Teen: Thomas Beavers, 17, and Anna Disouza, 18.
  • Masters: Ian Bordenave, 42, and Kathleen Welch, 52.
  • Grandmasters: Jeff Gohd, 55, and Dora Thomas, 53.

Although Dillard students did not win a top spot, DU students made an “exceptional turnout,” of, according to Paulette Hammond, DU senior manger for annual fund and prospect research. In its 21st year in New Orleans, the event had about 50 more participants, a 16.7 percent increase from last year’s 300 participants.

Founded in 1944, the United Negro College Fund is a Virginiabased philanthropic organization whose focus is to “enhance the quality of education by providing financial assistance to deserving students.” It provides scholarship funds to 39 private historically black colleges and universities and 900 institutions. In its 64 years, the UNCF has raised more than $2.5 billion to support 350,000 students.

The 5-kilometer walk/run benefited Dillard and Xavier University students by raising money to provide scholarships to students in financial need. Dillard’s part will go into its general scholarship fund, Hammond said.