By David Czarlinsky
Recently, Lynn hosted its inaugural Knight-A-Thon to raise money for the Pediatric Oncology Support Team (POST). Students danced from 2 p.m. until 2 a.m. to support the local philanthropy in the DeHoernle Sports and Cultural Center.
With 229 students, faculty and staff in attendance, the university raised $18,104.05 for POST, Inc. Their original goal was $15,000 and organizers were proud to say that they surpassed the goal moments before the event started.
With different fundraising efforts throughout the 12-hour period, the community was able to raise more than $3,000 during the event.
“It was incredible to watch the money keep piling in,” said Baylee Howe, co-chair of the fundraising committee. “All of the hard work and late nights paid off for the kids.”
From 10-11 p.m., attendees took part in “power hour,” where they were challenged to raise $120 in an hour. By 10:45 p.m. the community had raised more than $350 in the time period.
Throughout the event, members from the POST community came and spoke to the Lynn community. David Fitting, a 25-year-old cancer survivor told his story and explained why POST is so important to him.
Fitting was diagnosed with glioblastoma 15 years ago and he was told that he only had six months to live.
“The doctors told my mom to give me anything I wanted because I wouldn’t be around much longer. Cancer is a punch being thrown at you that you can’t avoid,” said Fitting. “No one asks to be in the fight, you get sucked into it.”
Fitting described that throughout his experience, he wants everyone to know that people need to believe in themselves and in the ability to beat cancer.
Another speaker from POST was Barbara Abernathy, president and CEO of the non-profit organization. Abernathy brought the community to tears telling her story.
“This morning, I went from the hospital to my house. I changed, and then I came here,” she told the crowd. “David gives me the courage and inspires me to continue to fight every day.”
The marathon strived not only to raise money for the cause but to also raise awareness. Led by the Lynn Leadership Institute, many organizations on campus took part in the event and accepted the challenge to raise the most money.
The Lynn Leadership Institute came together and fundraised more than $6,500, coming in first place. Following them was the Division of Student Affairs ($1,846), Sigma Alpha Epsilon ($1,815), Kappa Delta Pi ($677) and Sigma Sigma Sigma ($491).
“It was incredible to see all of our organizations come together to take part in this event,” said Jessica Fitzpatrick, coordinator for student involvement. “Seeing the entire Lynn community come together for one cause was amazing. It brought me back to when I participated in a dance marathon at my alma mater, Rutgers.”
Knight-A-Thon was sponsored by Chick-Fil-A, Pizza Hut, Starbucks, Sodexo, The Melting Pot and Moe’s, which helped bring the event to life and provided food to participants and families.