Oct 1, 2013, 10:57 AM EDT
A favorite Notre Dame professor of mine once told me, “There are smart students everywhere, but what makes Notre Dame special is the heart of the community. ND students have more heart than any I’ve ever encountered.”
The more time I spend at this university, the more I realize how correct that statement is. People here do not see it as a chore or an option to help others, but instead as a necessity—as a fundamental part of belonging to a community and being human.
A recent example of this can be seen in the annual Erg-a-thon for pancreatic cancer research held by the Irish Rowing team. The Erg-a-thon—the team’s unique way of giving back to the community—was inspired by the lives of two women close to the team who lost their lives to pancreatic cancer. Year after year, the ladies of the rowing team pour their hearts and souls into the event, expending vast amounts of time and effort all in hopes of creating the best fundraiser possible for pancreatic cancer research.
This year the Erg-a-thon took place Friday, September 27. The team prepared for the event with one specific goal in mind: to raise more money for pancreatic cancer research than they had in years past.
I am happy to inform you that they succeeded in this goal.
This year, along with the help of everyone who attended and donated to the event, the Irish rowing team raised over $10,000 for pancreatic cancer research. Senior rower Anna VanEgmond speculates that this is largely due to the new addition of a donation website that allowed people to donate online in the days before the Erg-a-thon.
“Each day leading up to the event we were continually shocked by the generosity of donors,” remarks VanEgmond.
In addition to online contributors, the Erg-a-thon also had a continuous flow of visitors throughout the day. It was amazing to see all of the Notre Dame students, faculty and staff and members of the community that showed up to support the rowers and help them raise money for pancreatic cancer research.
“We really appreciate all those who took time out of their days to be a part of our event both through donation and attendance,” says VanEgmond, “It was great to see the spirit of Notre Dame come alive as we continue the fight against pancreatic cancer.”
VanEgmond also noted that a large portion of the foot traffic at the event was coming from fellow Notre Dame athletes.
“Student Welfare and Development does a great job providing student athletes opportunities to volunteer on and around campus as well as ways for student athletes to support each other’s competitions and events,” she says.
Moving forward, the team would like to continue to raise more money each year for pancreatic cancer research, but for right now, the girls are proud of what they’ve accomplished.
**The donation website for the Erg-a-thon is still open and will remain so until Sunday, October 6. If you would like to aid the rowing team in raising money for pancreatic cancer research, please visit the site here.
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