Over 130 doctoral students and alumni from Belmont’s School of Physical Therapy recently helped coordinate logistics for Nashville’s annual Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. The Belmont group helped with course set-up and take-down and served as course marshals managing a crowd of over 20,000 participants and spectators.
Dr. Michael Voight, professor of physical therapy, was co-chair for this year’s race along with Dr. Ashley Campbell, adjunct professor in the School and an alumnus of the doctoral program. Voight serves on the local Komen organization’s Board of Directors and has facilitated the participation of Belmont students as volunteers for many years. “Komen Greater Nashville has provided more than $4 million in screening, treatment and educational services to women in middle Tennessee,” said Voight, “Much of that is raised each year with the Race for the Cure in which our students contribute greatly.” Additional faculty support comes from Dr. Pat Sells who leads the race volunteer program.
Third-year students Jade Manning and Brittany Ryan served as class leaders to train and coordinate their classmates in preparing for the race weeks in advance. Many worked until dark on race day with course set-up, and 120 volunteers began the day at 6 a.m. to coordinate last-minute logistics. “Each year when we volunteer at these charitable events, I’m reminded why I wanted to be a physical therapist in the first place–to help promote a healthier and more positive world,” Ryan said. Second-year student Sarah Hogan said, “I love volunteering for Komen each year because it provides great class bonding while raising money for an important cause. I have multiple breast cancer survivors in my family, and seeing all these people in pink reminds me of the struggle that so many families endure.”
Patty Harman, executive director of the Nashville Komen affiliate, expressed gratitude to the Belmont students for their contribution. “The race would not have been as successful without our friends from Belmont University School of Physical Therapy,” she said. “We cancer survivors and co-survivors understand and appreciate the gift they provide each year in this unique way.”
“We had another successful event with more people participating this year than ever before,” said Haden McWhorter, Komen board member and chairman of the event. “Belmont jumped in to do whatever was needed to make it a wonderful experience for each person. We can’t thank them enough for all they did.”