Women’s Rugby Stays Up ‘Til Dawn

Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.
Photo by Robin Weinstein.

The Women’s Rugby team participated in the Up ‘Til Dawn event on Nov. 15.

The event, which raised money for St. Jude Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN, raised over $12,000, with the Women’s Rugby team raising $3,568 of the amount.

Families don’t have to pay medical bills at St. Judes, so events like Up Til’ Dawn help cover the $1.8 million it costs to operate the hospital on a daily basis.  In addition, the money raised goes to fund research on childhood cancer and other deadly diseases.

The team found out about the event on Nov. 8 and raised all of their money in a span of one week, according to fourth -year Captain MacKenzie Bachar.

The team’s philanthropy chair, second-year prop and flanker Daniella Monticciolo said the team decided to partake in this event to help out people in need.

“We wanted to get more involved on campus and in the New Paltz community,” Monticciolo said. “As a team, we are made up of over 40 girls, so we have a lot of participants to contribute to organizations looking to raise money for charity.”

Up ‘Till Dawn lasted from 11:30 p.m.  to 5:30 a.m.  During this time, the 26 teams that were signed up played games and competed against each other in order to raise even more money for their teams.  The evening began with a dance contest to see who could dance the longest.

Among the group, the team divided themselves into six smaller teams to compete against each other.

The team “Women’s Rubgy Two,” captained by Bachar, earned the most out of the six smaller teams by raising $1,265 between the team’s six members.

Monticciolo said she enjoyed the videos that were played because they showed patients at St. Jude and gave the participants an image of the children who they were working for.

“My favorite part of the event were the small clips they showed in between the different games and competitions, of children at the hospital,” Monticciolo said.

Fourth-year Captain Dara Lebenger said she loved how every participant remained enthusiastic even when it was getting very late into the night.

“My favorite part had to have been musical chairs because even though it was around 3 a.m., there was still so much positivity and excitement in the room knowing we were working towards something incredibly important,” Lebenger said.

Bachar said was glad she able to be a part of such a great cause.

“The event itself was great and the people running it did an awesome job at keeping people’s interest throughout the night,” Bachar said. “I have to say my favorite part was seeing my team keep up the smiles and energy throughout the entire event. I was really proud walking away that night.”

The team has been active with charities, third-year captain Irene Corvinus said. Last spring they hosted a “Prom Dress Rugby Tournamnet,” where all of their proceeds went to the Grace Smith House in Poughkeepsie, which houses people in order to protect them from domestic abuse.  The team is hoping to run that tournament again this year.

Going forward, Monticciolo said the team will be participating in other fundraisers and events where they can help the community.

“This Saturday we will be taking part in The Family of New Paltz Turkey Trot,” Monticciolo said. “We are also looking into doing some volunteer work closer to the holidays with the Daily Bread Soup Kitchen.”

The teams have until Dec. 16 to finish fundraising for Up ‘Til Dawn.