By JI Reporter Sophia Virgillito
The history of Walk-A-Thon, Marian’s only student-led fundraiser, dates back to the fall of 1984. The first Walk-A-Thon fundraiser was anticipated by the students as they were working to reach their goal.
Throughout the years, the contest has always been competitive. Alumni from the Class of 1992, Amy Schumacher Bauman and Teresa Virgillito DeGeorge describe their experiences with Walk-A-Thon. Bauman remembers the competition as “less intense as it is now.” This may be due to the fact that Field Day and Walk-A-Thon had no connection at the time.
DeGeorge said, “I asked family members and relatives for money, rather than going door-to-door.” The two recall the fun times of Walk-A-Thon, for example, getting out early and the urge to win. They both said they never had to worry about meeting their class goals during their time at Marian.
Continuing the legacy, their daughters Claire Bauman ‘23 and Bella DeGeorge ‘23, describe their very first Walk-A-Thon as “competitive” and “crazy.” They called relatives to scramble up money, in fear that their class would not reach their goal by the final week. These freshmen enjoyed their first Walk-A-Thon dance party and walking with their friends.
Both generations of Marian girls believe Walk-A-Thon benefits the school community and helps raise money for a good purpose, while also bringing out students’ “competitive energy.”
One of the first annual Walk-A-Thons, in 1985, started out with an all-school goal of $25,000. This year the junior class’ goal alone was $24,299. The all-school goal continues to be surpassed by students. Since then, the school goal has continually increased reaching a total goal of $95,000 in the 2019 Walk-A-Thon.
Since the late 1990s the Walk-A-Thon goal has increased 280 percent while tuition has increased 148 percent.
Even now, in 2019, Walk-A-Thon embodies Marian’s core value of community through the unity of the school. The freshman Class of 2023, and the junior Class of 2021, walked four miles and celebrated their places. The girls, covered in colorful powder, embrace the theme of Walk-A-Thon and enjoy a fun dance party afterward.