Student-Athletes Excited For Ninth Annual Benching For Breast Cancer
By Mary Patalita
Special to GoHolyCross.com
Register For Benching For Breast Cancer
For the past eight years, student-athletes have looked forward to the last day of classes, not because winter break is ever close but because of the enthusiasm that surrounds Benching for Breast Cancer. This year marks the ninth annual event, which will take place on Friday, December 9.
Student-athletes across all teams and years will gather in the Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex for a special event that bridges two passions of Crusader student-athletes: working out and helping others. The event is sponsored by HC for a Cure and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and all the proceeds of the event go to benefit Pink Revolution, a Worcester-based breast cancer alliance of dedicated individuals with a unified commitment to those who have been affected by breast cancer. Raising money and awareness for breast cancer research, while dressed in costumes, the Crusaders will be sure to have a memorable night.
With the anticipation building up throughout the day, registration will begin at 5:00 p.m. at the Hart Center. Then, at 5:30 p.m. the benching will begin. In groups of four, student-athletes will form teams and bench their max in the hopes of taking home the prize. Every year, in the middle of the event there is a candlelight ceremony to honor those who are currently battling breast cancer and those who have gone before us in a fight against breast cancer. At the end of the night, a male team and female team winner will be announced based on how much they benched relative to each student’s height and weight. In addition to a benching winner, other contests will take place. Awards will be given to best dressed, most enthusiastic team as well as the team that raises the most money.
Head strength and conditioning coach Jeff Oliver has a unique perspective of Benching for Breast Cancer since he has been at Holy Cross since its inception. "Benching for Breast Cancer is one of the most exciting, dynamic hours of fundraising for breast cancer research," said Oliver. "It is an event that not only raises money for a fantastic cause, but celebrates the last day of classes and the charitable and thoughtful nature of the Holy Cross student community. It is a carnival-like atmosphere with a brief and somber pause to remember and honor those who have fought and continue to fight breast cancer."
HC for a Cure co-chair and senior on the track and field team Matthew Liguori knows the importance of the legacy associated with Benching for Breast Cancer. Liguori became involved in HC for a Cure during his freshman year because of teammate Michelle McGahan. Liguori took the reigns of HC for a Cure and Benching for Breast Cancer from McGahan when she graduated. Last year was his first year heading the event and he remembers it as a motivating experience. “To see such a large portion of the student body, faculty and staff at the event is inspiring,” said Liguori. Last year was the largest turnout since the event’s inception and Liguori hopes to have similar success this year.
Video: 2015 Benching For Breast Cancer
Breast cancer is a disease that unfortunately affects countless women each year. As a result many student-athletes know someone that has been affected by it. One special part of the event is the wall set up where students can write names of “Who they bench for.” It is a powerful scene to see the several hundred names written up on the wall.
Benching for Breast Cancer signifies an opportunity for student-athletes to come together, uniting over a cause that affects countless people on a day-to-day basis. “It is awesome to see fellow students cheer on one another as they are benching for breast cancer,” said senior member of the men's lacrosse team Jack Ortlieb. “The large number of students that participate in this event goes to show the type of people we have here on the hill. It is truly a great experience for everyone involved.”
Head baseball coach Greg DiCenzo echoes the electric atmosphere of Benching for Breast Cancer. “Of any college or university in the country, I believe that we have the most dedicated, responsible and caring individuals,” said DiCenzo. “This upcoming event perfectly represents these wonderful student-athletes at Holy Cross!”
Drawing together student-athletes from every team, Benching for Breast Cancer is an event that unites the school around a common goal of raising money for breast cancer research. “Everyone has a story of why they come out and show how much they care,” said senior track and field runner Allison Maier. “It is amazing to see everyone show up in clever costumes and the overall enthusiasm that everyone brings to the event.”
Be sure to be a part of the enthusiasm, strength and hype that will take place on Friday, December 9. The ninth annual Benching for Breast Cancer will prove to be an event you will not want to miss. Go here to register for the event.