For over 20 years, OIΛ and Bridging the Gap with Alpha, Inc. have sponsored the annual 5K Run and Fitness Walk.  The event is held Martin Luther King Park and flows through the beautiful Shandon neighborhood. It was started in 1990 as a salute to Bro. King to promote family fitness while raising funds for charitable causes in the community.  In recent years, the proceeds from the event have been donated to the American Diabetes Association and other diabetes-related causes in our community.

The Omicron Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated and Bridging the Gap With Alpha, Inc. announce the 25th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. 5K Run/Fitness Walk (MLK 5k) scheduled to begin at 9:00 a.m. Saturday, January 17, 2015, in Columbia at Martin Luther King Park located at 2300 Greene Street.

The headquarters will be on Santee Avenue. The MLK Race is an annual favorite for hundreds of running enthusiasts from throughout the southeast and beyond. The five kilometer (3.1 miles) certified course (SC11036DW) flows through Shandon neighborhood. The event started in 1990 as a salute to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. (who was a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity), to promote family fitness, and raise funds for charitable causes in the community. Applications are available by calling (803) 254-8070, or by emailing, or registering online at Olympic-style medals will be awarded to the first three male and female finishers in 13 age divisions.

Proceeds from the 2015 MLK 5k charity race will benefit: The Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation which formed in 1988 as part of the dedication of Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and Community Center; and The Alpha Academy which was created in 2004 by the Omicron Iota Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. to mentor and provide scholarships to young African American high school males in the Columbia metropolitan area. In supporting the fraternity’s national program, “Go to High School, Go to College,” the Alpha Academy serves as a venue to stimulate the educational, cultural, and personal growth of young men beyond the scope of the normal high school curriculum. Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. develops leaders, promotes brotherhood, and academic excellence, while providing services and advocacies for our communities.

Founded on December 4, 1906 at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. is the oldest inter-collegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for and by African American college students. The fraternity has long been at the forefront for civil rights supplying leadership and vision. Well known Alpha members include: Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Adam Clayton Powell, Andrew Young, Cornell West, Paul Robeson, and several members of the U.S. Congress.

For more information, please contact Willie L. Odom at (803) 254-8070 or or visit