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Spin for a cure

Nicole McAlee | Friday, January 25, 2013


Starting at noon today and continuing for the next 24 hours, Notre Dame students will cycle for a worthy cause in the Pink Zone Spin-A-Thon.

The Spin-A-Thon, now in its second year at Notre Dame, is part of a larger, nationwide cancer-fighting initiative called the Pink Zone. It is sponsored by RecSports, the women’s basketball team and the College of Science.

“The Pink Zone is a nationwide NCAA women’s basketball team fundraising initiative specifically for breast cancer research,” said Jennie Phillips, assistant director of fitness and fitness facilities for RecSports.

The Spin-A-Thon started when the Pink Zone team reached out to Phillips and RecSports.

“Last year, [the Pink Zone planning committee] said, ‘why don’t we have a spin-a-thon on campus so our students can be involved?'” said Phillips. “The natural thought was that RecSports should oversee it because we have a cycling studio and we know how to program, and so last year we started with our first one and it was very successful.”

Last year, the RecSports Spin-A-Thon raised $13,000, Gallagher said. The Pink Zone initiative as a whole raised $200,000. This year’s goal is to raise at least $15,000, according to the College of Science website.

Phillips said teaming up with the College of Science was a natural choice.

“They do a lot of research on different kinds of cancers and Dean Greg Crawford [of the College of Science] is very passionate about doing research and helping find a cure for breast cancer,” Phillips said. “I think when you have the College of Science involved, it adds credibility to the research we’re talking about … It’s what’s happening at Notre Dame, which I think is really great.”

The College of Science oversees another Spin-A-Thon at nearby Knollwood Country Club in Granger.

Kristen Gallagher, fitness and instructional program coordinator at RecSports, said although Knollwood’s Spin-A-Thon inspired Notre Dame’s in some ways, the on-campus Spin-A-Thon is unique.

“It’s really nice to work together with [Knollwood] because they did it first and they gave us some ideas of what we could do for ours, but it’s just way different doing it for students,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher said the event will feature food, giveaways and a raffle for a pink cruiser bike.

“It’s a 24 hour event, and we break each hour up into a different theme,” she said.

Themes include an Ugly Christmas Sweater hour, Mustache Bash hour, and a Go USA hour, during which the film “Miracle will be shown.

In addition to the hourly themes, several student clubs, including the Steppers, the Humor Artists and the Juggling Club, have volunteered their talents to entertain participants.

Phillips said the best part of participating in the Spin-A-Thon is the real difference it makes in people’s lives.

“I think that doing something this simple can have such a huge impact, and I’m always impressed with the effort that the Notre Dame community makes when there’s a cause involved,” Phillips said.

Gallagher agreed.

“This is a special cause,” she said. “It’s very near and dear to people’s hearts.”

To register for the Pink Zone Spin-A-Thon, visit recsports.nd.edu.