Faculty Race to Raise Funds for Local High School
Published: Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Updated: Tuesday, September 25, 2012 02:09
A team of Georgetown faculty members competed in a Ragnar Relay, raising $9,507 for Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School this weekend.
Hoya Reycers, a team composed of 12 Georgetown faculty members, competed in the Ragnar Relay, an overnight race that covered 198.1 miles from Cumberland, Md., to the National Harbor in D.C.
The team aims to raise $10,000 for Don Bosco High School in Takoma Park, Md., before the donation period ends in early October. The school is part of the larger Cristo Rey network of Jesuit high schools, which includes 25 private Catholic high schools across the country that help urban and low-income youth prepare for college and employment though a work-study program.
Planning for the relay began last April in the Office of Student Affairs’ kitchen.
“We came up with this crazy idea that maybe we would do this team-builder and we would run a Ragnar Relay,” case manager for the Office of Student Affairs and Hoya Reycers team captain Katie Boin said.
But Boin said she wanted the activity to be more than a bonding experience.
“We knew that we should have a cause — that we should do it for something bigger than ourselves,” Boin said. “Once we thought about the Cristo Rey piece, it was clear that that was what would get people really connected to the idea.”
Georgetown has developed a close partnership with Don Bosco since its founding in 2007, providing corporate work-study opportunities and offering orientation and training programs for Don Bosco students.
“We have a very close relationship with Georgetown. They have been wonderful from the very beginning,” Don Bosco’s Director of Development Claire Wyrsch said. “They have been terrific in inviting our students to summer programs, to days during the year to get a taste of the college experience. We have had students from Georgetown come over and tutor [our] students.”
The money raised from the weekend’s Ragnar Relay will help fund the school’s academic programs, Wyrsch said.
Before the relay, Hoya Reycer teammates had varying amounts of running experience. Some members, like Sonia Jacobson, an assistant for academic affairs, were running veterans, while others were racing for the first time.
“This is my first race ever in life,” Executive Director of Georgetown’s Meyers Institute for College Preparation Charlene Brown-McKenzie said.
The Reycers followed a traditional half- and full marathon training regime that included distance runs to build endurance. The race consisted of 36 legs of varying distances and difficulty levels. Each member of the team ran three legs, and the team finished in 34 hours.
But despite the preparation, the race format still brought unique challenges, such as the travel time, distance and nighttime portion, according to Boin.
“The challenge of this is not so much doing a five-mile run, which is not that challenging, but [rather] getting in a van, driving around for eight to 12 hours and then doing it again. And then getting in a van, driving around for eight to 12 hours and doing it again,” Assistant Vice President for Student Health James Welsh said.