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To Write Love on Her Arms hosts first 5K at FGCU

Students are invited to walk, run, jump, skip or crawl their way through a 5K event in an effort to rid Florida Gulf Coast University of generalizations about mental illness.

The FGCU chapter of To Write Love On Her Arms is hosting its first 5K event, which is open to students and the public. The event is an effort to raise awareness and bring hope to those struggling with mental health issues such as depression, addiction and suicide.

To Write Love On Her Arms is an international organization founded by Jamie Tworkowski in response to the neglect of mental health patients who need friendship and love.

More than 80 university chapters, or UChapters, exist on campuses around the world today.

Prior to becoming formally affiliated with Tworkowski’s organization, the FGCU group was known as To Write Love On Eagles Wings. Missi Dorff, president of the FGCU TWLOHA, says the group is there to contradict stereotypes.

Although the campus UChapter does not provide services to students, the organization often acts as a liaison between students and services offered at FGCU.

“(We) present hope and help to students in need, as well as refer them to campus resources like CAPS,” Dorff said.

Dorff said she wants the Love Moves 5K to bring the campus together.

“I hope this will create a unity within the campus and show people they are not alone,” Dorff said.

Participants will meet in the plaza adjacent to the bus loop near the Cohen Center prior to the start.

The cost of the event is $10 for students and $15 for the public. Money raised from the walk will be split between the campus chapter and the national organization. The FGCU UChapter keeps 25 percent which goes toward operating costs and future events. The national organization uses the money it receives to fund treatment and recovery for those struggling with mental health illnesses.

Students interested in the event can sign up at www.runsignup.com/lovemoves.

Those interested in attending may also buy tickets for chances to win over $800 in raffle prizes such as a one month LA Fitness membership, movie tickets and professional nail treatments. This week on campus, TWLOHA will host a table outside of Subway and selling Braids of Hope bracelets to raise additional money for the UChapter.

The 5K will be held from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 23.

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