The Trinity College women's soccer team will be participating in Hartford's "Walk to Defeat ALS" this Sunday, September 24th at 11 a.m. The team is selling raffle tickets and collecting donations, as well as looking for participants to join them for the 3-mile walk. This is the program's second year participating in The Walk to Defeat ALS, however, they have been organizing events and fundraisers for the cause for the past three years. For their first year of fundraising, the team organized a walk on campus that raised $7,000. Last year, joining the ALS Association for The Walk to Defeat ALS, the team raised $1,000 more than the prior year. Not only has the team worked effortlessly to donate money for ALS research, but also to raise awareness of the incurable disease.
The team's fundraising efforts began after Debbie Barrett, the beloved mother of Karyn Barrett '15, was diagnosed with ALS in 2015. After being diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease, physicians told the Barrett family that Debbie would have 2-5 years to live, but Debbie tragically passed away seven months later. Michael Smith, Head Coach of the women's soccer team, described the Barrett family's impact on the soccer program. "This has become a tradition that is near and dear to my heart," said Coach Smith. "Karyn Barrett and her family hold a special place within our program and as long as I am at Trinity we will participate in this event every year."
Barrett, a senior during the current senior class' first year, was the first member of the program to be named an Academic All-American. In addition, she received All-New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) honors in 2014, and was NESCAC Player of the Week numerous times throughout her college career. Current senior tri-captain Sarah Connors reflected on her first season with Karyn. "As a freshman, I looked up to Karyn and strived to earn her respect". The women's soccer program valued Karyn and her family's commitment to the team, and continue to fight ALS in their honor.
The fundraising efforts have made a significant impact on the team's culture. Senior tri-captain Maddie Snyder described the impact that the annual fundraiser has had on her experience at Trinity. "Seeing Karyn and her father at our ALS fundraiser every year has given me a greater purpose of my role and as collegiate athlete and a member of the Trinity College women's soccer team".
Similarly, current assistant coach and fellow 2015 graduate Maggie Crowe described her experience as a member of the team with Karyn, and now continuing the tradition as a coach. "Karyn is an integral part of what the program embodies," said Crowe. "She was a diligent student, devoted athlete, and an well-regarded teammate. Her parents traveled to every game and their support for the program was admirable. The program's annual partnership with the ALS Association will honor their dedication to the program for many years to come."
To donate or purchase raffle tickets for the team's ALS fundraising efforts, please contact junior Shannon Kennedy (firstname.lastname@example.org). Raffle prizes include a New York City weekend getaway, Boston Bruins tickets, Echo Dot, gift cards to West Hartford restaurants, and numerous gift baskets. Raffle tickets are being sold one for $3, two for $5, seven for $10, and 15 for $20. Payment options include cash, check, and Venmo. To donate or sign up for the Walk to Defeat ALS at New Britain Stadium (230 John Karbonic Way, New Britain CT) visit the ALS Association's website.
Written by Melissa Maffeo '18