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Teams bike in spin-a-thon for charity

Anna Boarini | Sunday, January 23, 2011

On Saturday, members of the Notre Dame and South Bend communities reached their fundraising goals during a 24-hour spin-a-thon at Knollwood Country Club to provide preventative care for women in need.

Greg Crawford, dean of the College of Science, and his wife, Renate, were in attendance, along with members of the Notre Dame women’s basketball team and baseball team and the Knollwood Country Club.

The fundraising goal of the event was $24,000, according to Rhonda Bremer, athletic director of Knollwood. Participants reached the goal at 8 a.m. Saturday.

While the final donation total was not known, Bremer said she knows the event surpassed their goal by at least $1,000. There were 20 bikes to fill for the event and each rider was asked to find a $50 pledge for the hour they were riding.

“We had 480 hours on the board to fill with riders,” Bremer said. “We were able to fill more than 450 by Saturday morning.”

Organizers will donate the money raised to the St. Joseph Regional Medical Center Foundation, where it will be used to provide mammograms to women who would otherwise not be able to afford them, Crawford said.

The College of Science, Notre Dame athletics and Knollwood collaborated to create the event, he said.

“The last few years the women’s basketball team has worked with the science department on the Pink Zone game,” Crawford said. “We decided to combine our efforts to raise more money.”

The Crawfords and fitness instructor Kellie Sade rode for the full 24 hours.

“[I’m] excited to work together to raise money and raise breast cancer awareness,” Sade said.

Renate Crawford said she felt the event was important due to the magnitude of breast cancer.

“We wanted to make this as big of an event as possible,” she said. “Everyone is somehow affected by breast cancer. It’s important that we all work together to make an impact.”

The Kelly Cares Foundation, the brainchild of head football coach Brian Kelly and his wife Paqui, also had a team at the event.

“The Kelly Cares Foundation asked us to fill spots for the full 24 hours,” said Lisa Klunder, wife of Chad Klunder, the associate director of Football Operations. “This is a really great way to support Kelly Cares and help support a larger cause.”

Stephanie Menio, the director of operations for the Women’s basketball team, said Crawford came to them with the idea and then Knollwood jumped on board.

Local teacher Sarah Pennington got involved in the event through her boyfriend, who works for the Notre Dame baseball team. She rode for two hours because it was a good cause and said it is nice to do something active on a Saturday morning.

“I’m a teacher locally and doing community service is a good way to set an example for my kids,” she said.