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CSVBC Runners Making Strides

For The Heights

Published: Sunday, March 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01

With the Boston Marathon less than four weeks away, almost 400 students, faculty, and staff are preparing to conquer the 26.2-mile trek on behalf of the Campus School Volunteers of Boston College (CSVBC). The Campus School depends on both the enthusiasm and monetary support raised from Marathon Monday and other fundraisers to support its students, ages 3-21, with severe multiple disabilities.

Funds raised from the marathon on behalf of the Campus School are the school’s largest outside source of funding for operational necessities, including equipment, technology, and training for specialty staff. Participants raise a minimum of $175 to run on behalf of the CSVBC, and many enthusiastic runners raise much more for the cause.

“It’s not ideal, training and fundraising all the time,” said Kelly Pultorak, CSVBC treasurer, marathon participant, and LSOE ’12. “But doing it for the Campus School makes it 10 times more worth it.”

Participants also support the Campus School students by involving them with the marathon. Teams may run on behalf of individual students and can feature their picture on race shirts, and a pasta dinner for both runners and students will take place prior to the race.

Kevin Berry, Campus School marathon committee chair, marathon participant, and A&S ’13, enjoys the Friday pep rally at which students and their families can meet their designated runners when picking up official Campus School Marathon shirts. Such interactions at gatherings before race day foster meaningful connections between runners and students.

“Running over 26 miles is hard to do all by yourself,” Berry said. “You need the motivation to keep going at that tough point in the run. That’s when I think of the kids at the Campus School and make it happen.”

When participants reach BC’s campus at the end of Heartbreak Hill, many stop for a quick break to say hello to the cheering Campus School students and families for whom their running the marathon is dedicated.

This year at the Campus School table by the Main Gate cheering section, volunteers will be selling a limited number of marathon pinnies. All proceeds go directly to Campus School funding

Though it may be too late to begin training for the run, it is never too late to get involved with the school.

“More and more people want to get involved through running, volunteering, and committees,” said M.E. Hawkins, CSVBC secretary and LSOE ’12. “We are BC’s best-kept secret. There are so many ways for people to get involved with both the Campus School and the marathon that people don’t even know about.”

Kick-starting this week’s Campus School Awareness Week will be a panel discussion on “Special Education in America” tonight at 7 p.m. in Campion Hall, room 197. On Tuesday from 5-8 p.m., Boloco in Cleveland Circle will give away gift cards to the first 50 donors. The first annual “Campus School A Cappella Show,” featuring the Acoustics, Against the Current, and B.E.A.T.S., will take place on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in McGuinn 121. A BC Dining Point Drive will be run all week in McElroy and Corcoran Commons, as well.

Sean Schofield, volunteer coordinator and fundraiser for the Campus School, hopes that Campus School Awareness Week will spread awareness and advocacy for people with special needs while creating direct support for school systems and fundraising for Campus School equipment “so no students get left behind.” The week will also show how accessible the Campus School is here on campus.

“Volunteers are welcomed and encouraged,” he said. “It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to be so integrally connected and give back to the BC community, all while being a part of it.”

Students interested in getting involved with one of the Campus School’s committees, which include being a Buddy, literacy tutoring, the Eagle Eyes program, broom hockey, a cappella, the annual golf tournament, the marathon, publications, and other special events, need not have any prior experience.

The school’s next main event, the annual Campus School Golf Classic, will take place on April 30 and is accepting both participants and volunteers.

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