Increase Unique Fundraising Opportunities on Campus

Joe Adams ran in the NYC Marathon in support of NOVADance and the B+ Foundation. 

This past weekend, I had the unique opportunity to do something special: I was able to run in the 50th New York City Marathon.

This race was remarkable for a number of reasons. First, it was my first marathon ever (and, luckily, I finished). Next, it was the first in-person New York City Marathon in 735 days. But most importantly to me, I was running the race for a great cause.

In June, I received an email from the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation. The subject line read, “Run The New York City Marathon with B+!” Intrigued, I called my mom and asked her what she thought of the idea. I would get guaranteed free entry into the largest marathon in the United States at a time when there were no spots left for new runners to sign up. I had to raise a minimum of $3,250, but it was for a foundation that I believe in and care about so much. 

Here at Villanova, we fundraise hundreds of thousands of dollars each year through NOVAdance, all helping to fight against childhood cancer and supporting families who need help with financial assistance during their difficult times. I was honored that I received that email in June, I’m so glad I took the chance to run in this unforgettable race for the B+ Foundation. 

After completing the marathon, I strongly believe that the University should implement unique opportunities, like the one I had this past weekend, for its students. Being able to complete life bucket list goals, while also raising money for a great cause, is the perfect combination for students looking to make the most of their time at Villanova, while also being adventurous.

So, what would this look like? How could we create a program that encourages students to go outside of their comfort zone, while also doing good for the larger community? I think the answer lies in creating a new club or program on campus that allows for more events like the marathon to be offered.

There would be two components to this. First is the unique bucket list event. It could be a marathon, bungee jumping, skydiving, a tough mudder, a service trip, climbing up the side of a mountain or scuba diving in Hawaii, each of these events would surely pique the interest of so many students looking to go out and get a boost of adrenaline. 

The second component, of equal importance, would be the fundraising aspect. Sure, it would be cool to cross an item off of your bucket list, cover the cost with your own expenses and call it a day. But, we have the unique opportunity at Villanova to do good for our community and the larger world. 

I think that raising money to help those who need it would leave much more of an impact. We could become a University that fundraises record amounts of money for so many charities and foundations across the country, all while having fun along the way. I have no doubt that this would be a great way to not only get more students involved in fundraising and raising awareness for important causes, but also help create a sense of adventure and unique fun at the University. 

After my team of 14 combined to raise more than $60,000 for the B+ Foundation, I am confident that countless students could do the same (and more) to make a difference in the world. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I was given to run for the B+ Foundation, and with each challenge during the 26.2 mile journey, I thought about the kids and families that I fundraised for. They motivated me to the finish line, and I think this would be the best part about implementing a permanent program like this at the University. Life’s challenges can help remind us of those less fortunate, and can help ground us and remember the importance of these unique opportunities. 

So, let’s create a program for students looking to get more involved, cross some items off of their bucket list and most importantly, do good for the global community.