Sixty-nine Bates athletes and one staff member raised a combined $21,916 for the 2019 Dempsey Challenge, winning the College Cup.
The Dempsey Challenge is an annual fundraising event that supports the Dempsey Center. Founded by Lewiston-native Patrick Dempsey, this organization assists cancer patients and their families at no charge, providing wellness, counciling, and family services.
Students created a team and invited friends to join them in their fundraising efforts. The minimum fundraising target was set at $150 per person.
Then, on Sept. 28, students took part in either a 5k or 10k race around the L-A area, starting and finishing at the Simard-Payne Park in downtown Lewiston. Cycling races were held on the second day of the event.
Overall, more than $1.2 million dollars were raised for the Dempsey Center over the weekend.
Five Bates athletic teams participated in the event, raising a combined $21,416. Women’s Rowing raised the most at $9,758, followed by the Women’s Lacrosse team at $7,400.
Network Administrator Bruce Hall also participated, raising $500.
Sydney Paul ‘22, the leader of the Women’s Rowing Dempsey Challenge team, raised the most individually at $3,815. She has participated in this event since high school and is excited to have gotten her teammates involved. To raise money, she wrote letters and sent fundraising links to family and friends.
“We loved participating with the other Bates teams,” Paul said. “The competition between the Maine colleges really fueled our fundraising. I definitely want to make the Dempsey Challenge an event the rowing team participates in every year.
The most difficult part of this operation, she said, was getting people to sign up. The minimum fundraising goal is high, but it became easier for people to manage once they talked about fundraising strategies.
The Women’s Lacrosse team has a long history of participating in this event, starting in 2010. Senior Avery MacMullen captained the 2019 team and has participated in the event each of her years at Bates.
“It was my first time since being at Bates that we won the event,” MacMullen said. “We got to take pictures and speak with Patrick Dempsey. It was really great to have this happen in my last year at Bates, and as a leader for the team.”
Casey Snow ‘20 led the Women’s Track and Field team. Despite being sprinters whose races are usually measured in seconds, she and two other teammates powered through the 5k race together.
“The most significant part for me was definitely before the race where every participant came together in solidarity for those affected by cancer,” Snow said. “It was a very powerful moment and set the tone for how important this day is for so many people, friends, and families.”
Bowdoin and Colby also participated, each with one team. The Colby Men’s Lacrosse team raised $12,850 and the Bowdoin College team raised $6,475.