Organizers: Donut stop raising money for Big Brothers and Big Sisters

By Simya Dickson
Staff Writer

The 9th annual Tuscaloosa Krispy Kreme Challenge was canceled this year due to COVID-19 regulations, but the fundraising efforts have not stopped. 

The challenge, which is usually in the form of an in-person race, consists of participants running two miles and eating a dozen donuts in between.

It is held as a large fundraising event for the non-profit organization, Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama. 

Danielle McInerney, executive director and CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters, says the challenge is very beneficial for the program. 

 “All the money and the awareness that we make is for the program, so every dollar goes to Big Brothers Big Sisters and for us to grow the program,” McInerney said.  

 In place of this year’s challenge, the board of directors at Big Brothers Big Sisters coined the title “the sweetest race we didn’t run in 2021,” to encourage past and new participants to continue to donate. 

“It lets everyone know we’re still here,” McInerney said. “We’re still having to work with these children and give them what they need even during COVID, and we’re just going to put a fun little spin on why we can’t have it, instead of not having it at all.”

By registering, participants will raise money for the non-profit organization, receive a t-shirt, and a dozen donuts all from the comfort of their own couch. 

“The T-shirt has a runner sitting on a couch with a dozen donuts next to him,” McInerney said. “So, we’re selling the shirts and mailing them with a dozen donuts gift certificate for each person. That way we can still generate money and we still have our sponsors, it’s just not the main event.”

Additionally, Big Brothers Big Sisters is the local philanthropy for the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority at UA. 

The organization and its members play a large volunteer and fundraising role at Big Brothers Big Sisters. 

Grace Sutherlin, Kappa Kappa Gamma Philanthropy director and a UA sophomore, says the Tuscaloosa Krispy Kreme Challenge is one of her organization’s favorite events to participate in. 

“Honestly, I think for everyone it’s one of the most fun philanthropy events that we have,” Sutherlin said. “Everyone in our chapter participates, and you get to be there with them. People from Big Brothers Big Sisters attend too, and you get to interact with them and see the impact our participation has on their organization.”

Sutherlin says the sorority intends on donating and keeping their participation up, even though the race is not happening this year. 

 Kappa Kappa Gamma has gone above and beyond in their efforts to help the program persevere, McInerney says. 

 Mady Radest, a Kappa Kappa Gamma member and UA junior, says she enjoys participating in the challenge with her sorority sisters every year. 

 “It’s really special, because my friends and I do it together,” Radest says. “We just have a great time, eat donuts, and laugh about it after.”

Each year around 750 participants attend the event, but McInerney says only about 125 of them actually eat the dozen donuts during the race.

Her hope is that the challenge continues to grow, and more participants register in the future. The race has drawn participants from across the United States, including St. Louis and California, she said. 

“The larger the crowd there, the more exposure,” McInerney said.

To register for “the sweetest race we didn’t run in 2021,” or donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Alabama visit