February 22, 2006

Students Donate Blood

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Now that the season has started, Mitch Belisle ’07 generally spends his days on the lacrosse fields in his red Cornell uniform. Yesterday, however, he spent time inside Bartels Hall wearing an outfit, albeit-red, of a very different sort.

Belisle spent an hour of his day wearing a costume that represented a drop of red blood. He donned the red garb in order to promote the blood drive that the men’s varsity lacrosse team held yesterday. The blood drive, co-sponsored by the American Red Cross and the National Bone Marrow Registry, represented the kickoff for the lacrosse team’s 2006 Save the Day Campaign.

The lacrosse team started the Save the Day Campaign three years ago for individuals to pledge a donation to a charity called Dream Factory for each save the team’s goalie makes.

“It is something that we enjoy doing, it’s good for the community and it’s something that we can do outside of lacrosse,” Belisle said.

Dream Factory is a charity organization that grants dreams to children diagnosed with critical or chronic illnesses. Some past dreams granted have been a meeting with the President and a trip to Los Angeles.

Ian Rosenberger ’05 initiated the lacrosse team’s involvement with Dream Factory to honor fellow teammate Kyle Miller ’06. Miller was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in 2003. According to head coach Jeff Tambroni, Rosenberger wanted to honor Miller by finding “an organization that would realize dreams for people who are chronically ill.”

The lacrosse team is taking great measures to honor Rosenberger’s goal. It has set up a committee of players to spend the year working with Dream Factory to think of creative ways to support the organization. This year, committee members include Matt McMonagle ’07, Matt Robbins ’07, Kyle Miller ’06 and team captains Cameron Marchant ’06 and Joe Boulukos ’06.

In addition to the Save the Day Campaign, the committee has organized fundraisers such as 50-50 raffles and a pancake breakfast. The team also routinely invites children helped by the foundation to their games. Thus far, according to Suzanne Wapner, who works with the Dream Factory, the team has raised over $12,000.

Last year, Marchant and Boulukos witnessed firsthand the effect of the money they helped raise. They attended a dinner for the children that the charity supports, including a young girl named Heather whose trip to Disney World the team helped fund.

Of the experience, Boulokos said, “It was really great to see something you have done help out someone else’s life.”

This year marked the first time the lacrosse team led a blood drive. The team chose a blood drive to kick off their campaign because they wanted to participate in an event that would both help the community raise awareness of the Save the Day Campaign.

The money the team has raised, along with the blood collected yesterday, is hoped to have a long-standing impact on many lives.

“It is one of those things we definitely will remember,” Belisle said.

Archived article by Lauren Hirsch
Sun Staff Writer