Air Force Lacrosse: Running With a New Purpose

Sept. 17, 2009

USAFA, Colo. - The members of the Air Force lacrosse team are no strangers to running, but recently, they were running for more than just their typical off-season conditioning. The 34-man squad created a volunteer charity team to participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, held Sept. 13, at Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs.

The Komen Race for the Cure Series raises significant funds and awareness for the fight against breast cancer, celebrates breast cancer survivorship, and honors those who have lost their battle with the disease. Seventy-five percent of the net proceeds from Komen Colorado Springs events remains in the El Paso, Teller and Pueblo counties to support breast cancer programs and activities.

Less than two weeks ago, the group set a goal of raising $1500 for the local race. While the goal seemed lofty, the players were driven by the personal nature of the cause, as many had been touched by breast cancer affecting their own family members. For example, senior captain Ridge Flick has an aunt who was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and has gone through treatment.

"A few days after we created our team for the Race for the Cure, I called my aunt and she told me she had advanced into recovery, which was a huge relief," said Flick. "It was great to show up and be able to participate in an event that backs a cause I truly care for, and enjoy an early Sunday morning with so many other people devoted to the same cause."

While the cadets thought during the race that they had come up just short of their fundraising target, they discovered that some last minute donations had helped them reach their goal. Thirty-seven registrations, coupled with the donations, resulted in the group raising a total of $2610 towards the cause, ensuring that their efforts will help advance breast cancer research into the future.

The cadets' effort at this year's Race for the Cure is the latest in a long line of community service efforts. In the past, they have performed community outreach efforts at local schools, participated in various fundraising runs, and compete every fall in the Price Modern Lacrosse for Leukemia tournament.



Senior Sean Purio reflected on the team's latest outing: "It's great to go out and be a part of something bigger than ourselves. To be able to sort out your priorities and realize there are much bigger problems than our day-to-day struggles was a healthy and valuable experience."
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