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Women’s rowing team holds Erg-A-Thon for pancreatic cancer

| Monday, October 12, 2015

IMG_1269Zachary Llorens | The Observer

Last Friday, the women’s rowing team utilized their indoor rowing machines, known colloquially as an ergometer or an erg, to host their fifth annual Erg-A-Thon.

Co-chairs of this year’s event, Alexis Olson and Katherine Lumetta said the team raised money and awareness for pancreatic cancer.

“We have a bunch of ergs set up on Fieldhouse Mall. There are going some ergs that will be open so people can come up and race their friends or race a member of the rowing team,” Lumetta said. “There also are going to be members of the rowing team erging for the entire six hours.”

The Erg-A-Thon also doubled as an intra-dorm competition, where students could represent their dorms in erging races, Olson said.

“There will be a competition between the dorms, so if you go and row a certain time, that will count for your dorms time, so we can see which dorm can get the fastest time on the erg,” Olson said.

Lumetta said a three-dollar donation was required for students to participate in a 250-meter erg race. Additionally, the team also sold t-shirts and bracelets to raise money for the cause Lumetta said.

According to Olson, 75 percent of the proceeds went directly to undergraduate research at the Harper Cancer Research Institute and the college of science matched the team’s donation to the institute. The remaining 25 percent of money raised will go to Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, Lumetta said.

According to Olson, the team also held a raffle during the event. Prizes included two field passes for the Notre Dame-Navy game, an autographed football signed by head football coach Brian Kelly, tickets to the men’s basketball game against Boston College, tickets to the women’s basketball game against Virginia, tickets to the men’s hockey game against Minnesota-Duluth, a basketball signed by women’s basketball head coach Muffet McGraw, a basketball signed by men’s basketball head coach Mike Brey and the naming rights to one of the rowing team’s boats for the upcoming season.

“[The Erg-A-Thon] started in 2011 because one of our teammate’s mother had just passed away from pancreatic cancer, and our past academic advisor had also lost her mother to pancreatic cancer,” Olson said. “It is a way for the rowing team to pay it forward. It was also a way for our team to help out get and more involved in service work and do it in a way that was close to our team because two people close to us were affected by it.”

According to Lumetta, the team has raised over $25,000 for pancreatic cancer research since the event began. Lumetta said the team hopes to have raised over $10,000 during this year’s Erg-A-Thon.

Olson said as an IrishOn3 event, an initiative that encourages and rewards student-athletes for supporting each other, across all sports, through the attendance of various sporting event, the Erg-A-Thon was a great way for students, both athletes and non-athletes, to support the rowing team, as well as to support a good cause.

“It’s also an IrishOn3 event. It really counts for double-points, because not only are we raising money, but this is the only women’s rowing event that happens on campus — or anywhere near campus — during the year,” Lunetta said. “Since our rivers here aren’t good for rowing, this is really the only way students can get directly involved with the team throughout the year.”

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