The 13th annual Rena Rowan Ribbon Run brought an end to a philanthropy-focused week of events for the Panhellenic, Interfraternity and Multicultural Greek councils.
The 5K run, which was held on Sunday, raised money and awareness for the Rena Rowan Breast Center, which is part of Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. The Rena Rowan Breast Center conducts research and provides breast cancer care to diagnosed patients.
According to College senior and Panhel Vice President of Service and Philanthropy Mandy Rosenthal, Panhel picked Rena Rowan as its primary philanthropy, starting last year.
“It means a lot to be able to help women during such a difficult time in their lives,” Rosenthal said. “The money raised today goes toward all aspects of care for women at the Rena Rowan Center.”
This year, Panhel raised more than $3,000 at Sunday’s race. Similarly, in 2011, the run raised $3,000, which was then matched by the Office of Student Affairs/Fraternity Sorority Life, bringing the total to $6,000. Rosenthal hopes OFSA will make a similar contribution this year.
The money raised goes to help women like Mary Ann Butler Stewart, a patient who has been with the Rena Rowan Breast Center since March. Stewart came to speak to the runners before the race began.
“I am alive today thanks to the physician scientists at Rena Rowan, who perform their jobs with passion and grace,” Stewart said. “I thank all of you who came out today for your vitality, generosity and time.”
Stewart, a first-time attendee of the Rena Rowan Ribbon Run, chose to speak to the runners because she is “motivated and passionate about the cause,” not just for herself but for others as well.
“I felt like I could do this because I have enough health, unlike some of the women at the Center,” she said.
In total, approximately 200 students signed up for the run, which surpassed last year’s count of 191. The runners consisted primarily of sorority sisters, according to Rosenthal — although the event did attract members of other student groups.
Among these runners was College and Wharton sophomore and Chi Omega sister Maggie Dwyer, who said Greek Week inspired her to come out to the run.
“I think Rena Rowan is a great thing to support because so many people are affected by breast cancer,” she said. “As a young woman, the cause is important to me.”
According to College senior and Panhel Vice President of Programming Beryl Sanders, Greek Week was successful in heightening the importance of philanthropy for Penn’s Greek community.
“A lot of being Greek is giving back,” Sanders said. “The board has been trying to emphasize philanthropy and we can tell that the Greek community appreciates it.”
Overall, Sanders was happy with the outcome of Rena Rowan, as well as Greek Week as a whole.
“We had a lot of really great events and well-executed philanthropy,” she said. “I hope events continue to get better and better every year. Rena Rowan was definitely my favorite part of Greek Week — I loved it and it made me feel great about the Greek community.”