March 17, 2016

Whitney N. Yarber, Communications Specialist

Community Invited to Blaze the Trail Color Dash April 2

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University will host the Blaze the Trail Color Dash on Saturday, April 2.

Registration begins at 8:45 a.m. The 5K fun run will begin at 10 a.m. in front of the VSU Student Recreation Center located on Sustella Avenue. Participants will travel a route that takes them along Wainwright Drive to Baytree Road to Jerry Jones Drive to West Cranford Avenue to Azalea Drive to West Alden Avenue to Georgia Avenue to North Oak Street to the VSU Pedestrian Mall.

The Blaze the Trail Color Dash will end on the VSU front lawn where participants will enjoy grilled chicken, hot dogs, hamburgers, chips, and drinks.

Early registration is $20 for ages 18 and older; $15 for ages 11-17; and free for ages 10 and under. Registration on the day of the event is an additional $5. Team registration is available and ghost runner donations are welcome. All participants will receive a packet of color powder, a Blaze the Trail Color Dash bracelet, a sweatband, and a wrist band, which is required for admission to the post-event festivities on the front lawn. Visit to register for the event online.

Sponsored by the VSU Model Mentors, a student organization designed to help guide youth in transition through mentoring, volunteering, and enlightenment, the Blaze the Trail Color Dash is similar to the world’s first COLOR 5K event, The Color Run.

“This is a fun run; therefore, it does not have any winners,” said Shayla Slappy, Model Mentors public relations chairwoman and a junior mass media major from Gwinnett. “However, we will provide a time clock for those who would like to keep track of their time. The runners will be showered with colored powder at each check point station placed throughout the trail. So far, we have had more than 100 people register. We are really excited for the race, and we believe that this will be a great event.”

In recognition of April being National Autism Awareness Month, a portion of the proceeds from the event will support Compass Behavioral and Developmental Consultants LLC, a local partnership of certified behavior analysts and assistant behavior analysts who provide therapy for children and adults diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

“This event is important to our organization because we want to teach one of the many important life lessons of giving back,” said Damon Brown, Model Mentors treasurer and a senior accounting and finance major from Augusta. “We choose to exemplify this through running a 5K. Through this event, our goal is to shed light on a growing issue that affects youth each day.”

Contact Shayla Slappy at or Damon Brown at for more information.

On the Web:

Valdosta State University’s 2013-2019 Strategic Plan represents a renewal of energy and commitment to the foundational principles for comprehensive institutions.

Implementation of the plan’s five goals, along with their accompanying objectives and strategies, supports VSU’s institutional mission and the University System of Georgia’s mission for comprehensive universities.

The story above demonstrates VSU's commitment to meeting the following goals:

Goal 1: Recruit, retain, and graduate a quality, diverse student population and prepare students for roles as leaders in a global society.

Goal 3: Promote student, employee, alumni, retiree, and community engagement in our mission.

Visit to learn more.