Every year for the past six years, AEPi brothers have found themselves running along the beach at all hours of the night to raise money for Anthony Nolan. Come November, they set their goal for how many hours they would like to run, they grab their coats, their headphones and they head to the beach, one by one, to begin their hour long run up and down West Sands. Every brother signs up for a time slot (or several) and trudges down to the beach at 2am, 8pm, or 7am in order to relieve the brother that ran before him. After a handshake, a handover selfie and a “Good luck” his hour of the run begins. A hour of wind, often rain and the blistering cold, it’s a good thing the boys believe in what they’re running for.
This year the boys of AEPi will be running 120 hours. They will continue to run, as they have since the start of the run in 2013, for Anthony Nolan, a charity dedicated to blood cancer research. A fantastic charity, Anthony Nolan works to conduct groundbreaking research to improve the success rates of transplants and improve the lives of all people with blood cancer. It also works to pair those in need of a bone marrow transplant with a donor. The charity was set up in 1974 by Shirely Nolan, the mother of Anthony Nolan, an eight year old boy that would pass away four years later from Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. It is a charity that the fraternity has been working hard to create lasting ties with. This year, same as the last, representatives of the charity will be coming to speak to some of the boys and to cheer them on in their running.
The boys are proud of their philanthropic side, so proud, in fact, that they would say that it’s the best thing that they do. Spencer Caminsky, the Master of the fraternity, is incredibly proud of how hard the boys work to not only give back to their St Andrews community, but to the greater community at large .Activities like selling hot dogs, crepes, or running in the cold help to remind the brothers of one of the core missions of the fraternity: just how important social awareness is. Not only do activities like the run and bake sales in the cold outside the union to the raise money for Anthony Nolan help the charity, they also help the brothers to bond with one another. After all, nothing says bonding like sending your fellow brother out to run in the rain at 3am!
It is the desire to raise as much money as possible for such a great cause that has prompted the brothers to invite other St Andrews groups to run. Other societies (like the Stand!) a few of the sports clubs such as have scheduled themselves in to run for an hour along the famous beach. AEPi hopes that, with the help of these societies they will be able to raise as much money as possible. They are also holding a swabbing event this coming Saturday at the Vic from 11-2pm thanks to St Andrews’ own Marrow St Andrews’ society. The purpose of this is to help increase the number of people on Anthony Nolan’s bone marrow register. This is why they have now decided to call the run The St Andrews Charity Beach Run, instead of just the AEPi one. They want it to be a community wide effort, philanthropic work that everyone can come together to do, in order to be able to make the most impact.
So, if you so happen to see one of the boys outside the union, probably in several coats, selling food, standing outside the Vic shivering with a collection tin, or you see one walking towards West Sands, mentally preparing himself for a cold run, see if you can’t spare a pound or two for a really great cause and for the really great hearts and strong wills that are working so hard to do what they can for it.
If you would like to donate to the cause the link for that can be found here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/aepi-st-andrews