A Senior’s Perspective on Walkathon

Story by Madison Cashin ’24

I’ll be honest. Throughout my years as a Sacred Heart Cathedral student, I never really asked myself about the purpose of the Walkathon. To me, it felt like any other fundraiser. Recently, I decided to learn more about the highly publicized event, and after doing some research, the purpose became clear: Walkathon is a fundraiser that brings the SHC community together.

I spoke with Ms. Victoria Ball (‘16), Database and Advancement Associate, who works with Individual Giving Manager Andrew Ng (‘14) in orchestrating the Walkathon fundraiser, which this year will support Carl Gellert & Celia Berta Gellert Atrium renovation in the Student Life Center on the La Salle Campus, as well as student scholarships and travel grants. She stated that the Walkathon, in particular, stands out from any other fundraiser because it’s the only one where all students participate in raising thousands of dollars, all of which go to improvements in SHC itself. The Walkathon is the largest, most far-reaching and most successful. It focuses on improvements beneficial to all students.

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Ms. Ball described her experience as a student donating to the Walkathon as something she knew she could participate in, something she recognized mattered. She stated that she felt like the rest of the school happened around her, but the Walkathon was a fundraiser that everyone was a part of–not a single student was left out. Her contributions helped her to recognize the purpose and role she played as a student in improving the environment at SHC. Ms. Ball described the Walkathon as a reflection of community and, more importantly, how greatly kids care for it.

As I learned more about how much went into the Walkathon, I began to understand that I had a much greater role to play, regardless of my upcoming graduation. For example, I can lounge in the newly improved De Paul Campus Lobby. That space, supported by a previous Walkathon, is for the students and something I truly enjoy. There is a huge level of pride that comes with being at SHC. The Walkathon is a prime example of the difference we, as a community, can make for a place we couldn’t be happier to be a part of.

This fundraiser is for the students. It’s crafted solely for the improvements that students will get to use. Donating to the Walkathon means I will get to come back to SHC and recognize the impact, big or small, I had on this incredible community. Donating means my younger sister and future SHC students will cherish and enjoy an amplified campus. As a senior, it matters to me that future generations of SHC students get to walk through the same campus as I did, one that they will enjoy and appreciate and hopefully feel inspired to participate in improving–just like I have along with the class of 2024.

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