PHILADELPHIA -- The Temple women's rowing team braved the cold and rain on Saturday to raise money for a cause close to the program, participating in the 2014 PurpleStride Philadelphia 5K.
The event, which raises money for pancreatic cancer research, is a team tradition honoring former Owl Laura Altimari '09, whose mother passed away from the disease. "It means so much to me and my family that Coach Grzybowski committed to keeping the team involved with the walk," said Altimari.
"At this point, most girls on the team do not even know Laura, but everyone still participates," noted senior captain Eleanor Oken
. "I think it shows that TUWR is about so much more than athletics, that we're committed to our teammates, and we're here to support each other for the long haul."
This year's even has raised over $630,000 in support of pancreatic cancer research. It is estimated that more than 46,000 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, and more than 39,000 will die from the disease. It is the fourth leading cause of cancer death, with a relative five-year survival rate of just 6%, the lowest rate of any major cancer.
Temple's participation in PurpleStride dates back to 2009, with Altimari's mother, Val, present at the first 5K. Senior captain Moira Meekes
takes pride in the team's continued involvement with the fundraising event. "I personally really look forward to it each year because it's a great event filled with support and love," said Meekes. "It's truly amazing to see the the positive impact and vibes that take place at the event. Its a great cause filled with great people."
Temple women's rowing closed out the fall portion of the season last weekend at the Head of the Schuylkill. The team will be back in action in the spring.