Written by Cory Twibell Friday, 04 November 2011 00:00
Five Hicksville High School graduates will be fundraising and competing in the Walt Disney World Half Marathon during the first week of the New Year as members of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training.
Kerri O’Connor, Meagan Doyle, Alexis Tobin, Meghan Ida and Keira McCarthy are training to run the 13.1-mile race in Orlando, FL on Jan. 7, which will mark the race’s 15th anniversary. The athletes will run through the Magic Kingdom and finish at the Epcot theme park.
“We have worked hard on this fundraising mission, and with our goal so close to sight we are looking at any additional ways to obtain it. The training for the endurance event goes hand in hand with fundraising money for blood cancers,” said Doyle, who noted that the Ella Marie Dance Studio recently assisted in the fundraising as they donated studio time for a Zumba event that raised almost $1,000.
Running as part of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training has provided the five-woman team with motivation acts as a conduit through which the athletes can give back and raise awareness for blood cancers.
“We work hard to train as well as to fundraise. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society provides a great support system,” said Doyle.
The team, Doyle explained, was founded in memory of the late Donald O’Connor, Kerri’s father, who passed away from non-Hodgkins’ lymphoma in November 2009.
“With his two-year anniversary only weeks away we find it ultimately important to spread awareness of this horrible disease,” Doyle said.
Kerri was able to help fundraise at the Sidelines Bar and Grill on Duffy Avenue in Hicksville, as owners Louise and Ernie Hupfer made her a special guest bartender for an evening alongside Chris Kircheim, who helped organize the event. She was able to put her tips and other personal donations toward the cause, ultimately raising another $1,000.
Another member of the team, Alexis Tobin, joined because blood cancer affected a member of her family as well. The team is now $3,000 shy of their $15,000 goal and is encouraging the community to donate by making checks payable to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and mailing them to Kerri O’Connor, 47 Willet Ave., Hicksville, NY 11801.
For more information, visit http://pages. teamintraining.org/li/wdw12/teamdoc.