Supporting marathon bombing victims
Students collect funds for Boston fund, will participate in 5K
In support of those who were wounded in the Boston Marathon bombing, Wheaton students this week are raising funds and plan to participate in the college’s second annual John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk, which will take place on campus on Sunday, April 28, at 9 a.m.
Julie Bogen ’14 and Laurie Millener ’13, along with Alexis Barca ’16 and Victoria “Tory” Stosse ’15, are organizing efforts on campus to contribute money to The One Fund Boston, established by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino to help those most affected by the tragic events. Three people were killed and more than 200 were injured in the bombing at the finish line of the marathon on April 15.
Students will be collecting charitable donations and will sell baked goods, buttons, pins, bags and ribbons in Balfour Hood from noon to 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Thursday; on Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the farmers market, courtesy of Aftertaste; and again during the race on Sunday. Bogen or Millener can be contacted directly for additional opportunities to donate.
In addition, students plan to participate in the John Mitchell Memorial 5K Race/Walk and wear the colors of the Boston Marathon—blue and yellow. Students also have volunteered to help with registration. The entire campus community and local residents are also invited to participate.
“Even though we have a limited time frame and resources, we have the chance to make an impact and support a city that so many of us know,” said Millener, a religion major.
This is a collaborative effort with the Office of Student Activities, Involvement and Leadership; the Office of Service, Spirituality and Social Responsibility; Kristen Turcotte, Conference and Event Services director, and others, Millener pointed out. “It is representative of the way our campus works together.”
This is the second year the college has hosted the race/walk in memory of a long-time staff member who died in 2011. A well-respected member of the college staff, Mitchell, a South Easton resident, worked at Wheaton for 18 years, serving as a custodian and a truck driver before being promoted to the post of materials management supervisor. He was responsible for the set up and break down of all college events, furniture moving, office relocation; purchasing, receiving and delivering supplies. He also oversaw the pick up and delivery of campus mail and packages on campus.
“This is important to all of us,” said Bogen, a film and new media major, who is helping to organize from afar while she is studying abroad in Spain. “Wheaton is so close to Boston. I have family members who run marathons all the time, friends whose cross country teams participate, loved ones who live in Boston and attend the surrounding schools. There's nothing like the fear of knowing the safety of your loved ones has been threatened and feeling completely helpless. Boston is an incredible city with unmatched resilience that was shaken by an unpredictable tragedy. I think it's our responsibility as students, citizens and friends to help out however we can.”
On Sunday, participants will observe a moment of silence and recognize Wheaton staff member Dave Macedo, who ran the marathon and completed it. He was not injured and was a few blocks away by the time the bombing took place in Copley Square. He will run the 5K on Sunday.
Registration will be available during the donation collection hours this week, or online. View details about the race and register here.