Gardner-Webb University to Host Eating Disorder Awareness Events March 14-19

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Written by: Tyra Montour, Communications Intern

Annual Theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody”

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – In an effort to encourage the prevention of eating disorders and body image issues, Gardner-Webb University will host an eating disorders awareness week, March 14-19.

The National Eating Disorders Awareness (NEDA) week is recognized Feb. 21-27. NEDA is a collective effort of volunteers, including health professionals, students and educators, who are committed to raising awareness of the dangers surrounding eating disorders and the importance of early intervention and treatment. NEDA’s recurring theme is “Everybody Knows Somebody.”

Gardner-Webb will host a variety of events during its awareness week. A screening of the compelling documentary “Someday Melissa” will be presented to students in the Tucker Student Center Time Warner Theatre on March 14. The documentary is inspired by the journal writings of the title character and has been designed to raise awareness about the illness.

Gardner-Webb will also host a “Southern Smash” event on the afternoon of March 16, outside the Tucker Student Center. Participants will smash scales to symbolize letting go of the “perfect” number. Southern Smash was founded by McCall Dempsey, an eating disorder survivor. The organization’s mission is to educate the public about the dangers of eating disorders and to empower women to celebrate and embrace true beauty and self-love.

Maintaining a healthy approach to exercise is also an important aspect of the week’s focus. The week will end with the 4th  annual “Everybody Knows Somebody” 5K Run/Walk. The 3.1-mile course tours the Town of Boiling Springs and the Gardner-Webb campus and will be held on March 19 at 9 a.m.

To register in advance, visit The cost is $10 for students, $15 for GWU faculty and $20 for all other participants. Registration on the day of the event will begin at 7:30 a.m. The male and female winners in each age bracket will be awarded a medal. Proceeds from the event will benefit local eating disorder treatment centers.

More information about the NEDA Week events is available by calling 704-406-4103.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University’s purpose is to advance the Kingdom of God through Christian higher education by preparing graduates for professional and personal success, instilling in them a deep commitment to service and leadership, and equipping them for well-rounded lives of lasting impact, Pro Deo et Humanitate (For God and Humanity).