HAMDEN, Conn. - Head coach Danie Caro has announced the Quinnipiac University Women's Lacrosse team's final fundraising total for their "Stick It To Cancer" event held on the weekend of April 5-7, 2013. The Bobcats raised $6,705.50 through the CT Coaches vs. Cancer program. All donations directly benefited the American Cancer Society.
"I am so proud of the team's efforts to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society," said Caro. "They really embraced the fundraising challenge, and they handled all of the planning and prep work on their own. Michaela Tinsley (Shrewsbury,Mass.), Kyra Ochwat (Farmingdale, N.Y.), Chelsea Guerrera (Wantaugh, N.Y.), Kayla Fu (Severna Park, Md.), Kearney Sneath (Braintree, Mass.), and Keira Flaherty (Braintree, Mass.) really stepped up as leaders for this cause and made a tangible difference through their actions."
The event was part of the athletic department's Positive Play program, which encourages all student-athletes to get involved in various community service activities. Assistant coach Brittany Hauser explained, "The team gets involved in several activities each year, but this one was different because it is such a personal issue for so many. Everyone involved in our program knows someone who has been affected by cancer. Not only did the team raise money for the ACS, but they each dedicated their play in that weekend's games in honor of someone that has been touched by cancer. It was really an emotional and inspiring event for us all."
Kelly Stewart, the Youth Initiative Coordinator for the New England Division of the American Cancer Society, also praised the Bobcats efforts. "The Quinnipiac Women's Lacrosse team really amazed me with their support of the Coaches vs. Cancer program. When I contacted Coach Caro, I heard back from her immediately. She got the ball rolling and I met with members of the team who did a great job of organizing the event. Coach Caro's enthusiasm for the cause was shared by the team. I was lucky enough to attend the game and meet some of the parents. They too were dedicated to supporting the American Cancer Society."
The Bobcats set an initial fundraising goal of $3,000 for the weekend, but very quickly realized that was not ambitious enough. "Within a few days of sending out our solicitation emails, we realized this was a cause people responded to and we adjusted our goal," said junior Kayla Fu. "We decided to challenge ourselves and push the goal to $5,000. I don't know if everyone thought we could actually raise that much, but we wanted to try."
According to Stewart, "The team is the top fund-raising team of the year thus far in Connecticut and I would venture to say that they are in the top five teams for New England. The money raised will make a difference in the fight against cancer. Thanks to teams such as the Quinnipiac Lacrosse team, the American Cancer Society was able to fund $1.5 million dollars in new research grants this year in Connecticut - that's in addition to the $8.8 million already invested in the state."
The Bobcats plan to make the Coaches vs. Cancer event an annual part of their Positive Play efforts. "We had a very positive experience working with Kelly Stewart and the American Cancer Society," said Caro. "It's important for us to work with groups that will allow our student-athletes to take on leadership roles when planning events. It really helps their personal development and gives them ownership of the event."
This year's event included setting up donation tables at playoff games in the TD Bank Sport Center in March, and culminated with the online donation campaign that started the week prior to the "Stick It To Cancer" weekend. The team also donned pink warm-up shirts during pre-game activities for the LIU and Wagner games.
"What an outstanding job by a committed group of coaches and young women," said Stewart. "I am very grateful to Coach Caro and her team for their support and look forward to working with them again next year."
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