Bonaventure and community walks together during the March of Dimes
By Danielle Clark, Assistant Features Editor, @ddaniellee11
ST. BONAVENTURE, N.Y. (Oct. 16)—The crisp fall temperatures did not stop over 400 participants from walking in the March of Dimes fundraising event on the Allegheny River Trail Saturday morning.
Upbeat music, food and a carnival-like atmosphere united local community members and St. Bonaventure University students, faculty and staff to fight for one common cause – healthy babies.
The March of Dimes is a non-for-profit charity that works to help mothers have full-term pregnancies as well as research the problems that threaten the health of babies, according to their website.
This year, the university teamed up with Olean General Hospital to become an official co-sponsor of the annual March for Babies event which was previously held in Olean.
“We recommended to March of Dimes that they considered moving [the walk] to the campus,” said Rick Trietley, provost for student affairs. “We have the Allegheny River Trail, and we thought we could get much more student and faculty and staff participation, and they were very amenable to that.”
The walk started at 11 a.m., but the festivities began long before then. Volunteers arrived as early as 6 a.m. to set up, while participants checked in one by one up until the walk.
Volunteers shared their personal stories with the walkers, telling how March of Dimes has had an impact in their own lives.
Leah Brownstein, a sophomore history major, said that was her favorite part of the whole day.
“It was good to know that what we’re doing here is actually making a difference and hearing it right in front of us only reassures that,” she said.
The 5K walk circled the campus and ended on the Hickey Dining Hall lawn where it started. Participants stayed after the walk to take advantage of the plentiful food, inflatables, caricatures, face painting and music.
Paige Giammusso, a sophomore psychology major, said she enjoyed the scenic views along the walk.
“I thought the location was really nice,” she said. “It’s a beautiful trail so it was a really enjoyable walk.”
Julie Hall, director of field services in the school of education, said she participates in the walk every year to give back for what March of Dimes has done for her own family.
“The March of Dimes actually helped me when I was a baby,” she said. “I was born with three holes in my heart and had heart surgery as an infant, and March of Dimes supported my family through that.”
Robbie Chulick, executive board secretary of SGA, said he thought the day was very successful.
Chulick said as of right now, the event raised over $45,000, although the campaign runs for two more weeks after the walk itself.
According to Chulick, over 20 St. Bonaventure teams participated. The team that raised the most money was “Buzzed About Babies” with $787, closely followed by “The Bona Venture” with $775.
“Getting the Olean community to Bonaventure kind of unites us, so I think from here it’ll definitely grow,” Chulick said.
Treitley agreed and said it was great to see the community come together to do something that’s worthwhile.
“It’s a joint effort,” he said. “The bottom line here is that this helps children, and I think that fits perfectly with Bonaventure’s mission and our Franciscan values.”