In 2013, the founders of the George Washington University (GW) Club Field Hockey team decided to dedicate a game to Play4TheCure benefiting the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
“No matter who you are, cancer has most likely affected you in some way,” explains Jackie Clarke, GW Club Field Hockey Community Service Chair, on why founders chose Play4TheCure and how it became a tradition. “Due to the unfortunate wide range of cancers that can affect friends, family, and loved ones, this project keeps everyone motivated to make a difference.”
To encourage a high turn-out of both players and fans, GW Club Field Hockey schedules the annual Play4TheCure event against their biggest rival, Georgetown University. They maximize attendance by using social media and encouraging friends, roommates, and family to support them on game day.
The event takes place early in the semester and is, as Clarke describes, “an anticipated event that motivates our team for the school year” and encourages “the community to consider giving back.”
GW Club Field Hockey focuses on peer-to-peer fundraising. Using Crowdrise they create an online fundraising page with, individual player pages to increase success. In 2018, 26 teammates created individual pages to help reach their goal.
Clarke says the best part is “reaching our donation goal and usually passing it! It is a great feeling to know your team has raised funds for a significant cause, and it is awesome to see our goals reached.”
This year GW Club Field Hockey’s goal was $2,000, but they quickly surpassed it by raising $3,690!
The team’s work, however, goes far beyond their fundraising. Every year, there is a moment of silence that includes teams, fans, referees, and coaches to honor those who have lost their lives to cancer. At the end of the game, there is an opportunity for people to share their stories about how cancer has affected them. Clarke mentioned that this motivates the team to continue to participate each year.
ABOUT JACKIE CLARKE
Jackie Clarke, who serves as their Community Service Chair and organized the Play4TheCure event this year, is a sophomore at George Washington University. She started playing for GW Field Hockey one year ago, and is a defender on the team. Clarke is majoring in political science and history. She says “Joining [the team] and holding an executive board position has been a great part of my GW experience and I am looking forward to more fundraising events in the future.”
We can’t wait to have Jackie and the GW Field Hockey team back again next year!!
If you want to share your Play4TheCure story OR if you are interested in getting involved, email Play4TheCure@nfcr.org to get started! For more updates follow us on Twitter (@P4TC_NFCR), Facebook (Play4TC) and Instagram (@Play4thecure)