Hundreds of runners will take to the streets this Saturday in an effort to raise money to benefit breast and ovarian cancer foundations.

The eighth annual Kappa Dash: Key for the Cure, hosted by Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority, is a 5K run/walk through and around Isla Vista and campus to earn money for cancer research. Beginning at Greek Park — which is behind the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority house — the run will follow a bike path course past the Manzanita Village residence hall before circling around the University Center and lagoon.

Kappa Dash, first held in 2001, is the sorority’s annual fundraiser. All proceeds from the Kappa Dash will go directly to one of three charities for breast and ovarian cancer — the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance or the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program of Santa Barbara.

According to Allison Capozzoli, a third-year history major and Kappa Kappa Gamma Philanthropy chair, the 2007 event raised $17,000, and organizers expect to collect even more on Saturday.

Furthermore, due to increased sorority outreach efforts this year, Kappa Kappa Gamma is hoping to top last year’s turnout of more than 300 runners, Jenna Thomas, the sorority’s public relations chair said

“We definitely want to do even better than we did last year.” Thomas, a fourth-year communication major said.

Additionally, Capozzoli said Kappa Kappa Gamma had gone to great lengths in order to sign up people from the local area to participate in the dash.

“We did a lot to get the greater Santa Barbara community involved, not just UCSB and I.V.,” Capozzoli said.

While its focus is on fundraising, the Kappa Dash is also a highly personal event for the sorority. In the summer of 2006, the sorority lost one of its sisters when Robin Babbini, a 20-year-old English major, passed away after battling ovarian cancer since her senior year of high school.

For the members of Kappa Kappa Gamma, Capozzoli said memories of Babbini and her experience will be on their minds throughout the event.

“Most of us know somebody that has or has had breast cancer, and being women this is an issue that most of us will have to face either ourselves or with family,” Capozzoli said.

In recent years, Robin’s mother has been present for the Kappa Dash, although she will not be for this year’s event.

According to Capazzoli and Thomas, the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance was added to the charity roster after Robin passed away. The BCEDP of Santa Barbara is also particularly important to the sorority, as Kappa Kappa Gamma is the main benefactor of the organization.