Over two hundred William & Mary students, faculty, administrators and staff got up early on Saturday, March 19, to get a jumpstart not on a weekend of school work, but on a road race sponsored by law students to support the campus's April 13 Bone Marrow Drive.
The inaugural "Ali's Run" was a 5K run/walk named in memory of Ali Kaplan, the daughter of Rob Kaplan, the Law School's associate dean of career services. It was the first in a string of Law School events that benefit William & Mary's 14th Annual Alan Bukzin Memorial Bone Marrow Drive, which encourages members of the campus and local community to participate in the National Marrow Donor Registry.
Kaplan said he was touched that the law students' bone marrow drive committee asked to name the race after his daughter. It is now the second school fundraiser held annually in Ali's honor. The Law Library's "March Madness Free Throw Competition," has been held during the bone marrow drive every year in Ali's memory since she passed away in 1999 of aplastic anemia. This year's free throw competition will be held at the Law School on Monday, April 11.
"The people in the Law Library knew Ali or had seen her, and I am grateful for their activities in her memory every year. The fact that students who had never even met her wanted to do a run in her honor was really remarkable to me," Kaplan said.
He was also happy that the committee asked him to be the race marshal. "Perhaps the thing that I was most grateful about was that the organizing committee asked me to give some opening remarks and pass out medals at the end, so I didn't have to run," Kaplan joked. He did, however, return the next day with a friend to walk the course.
Maren Schmidt '06, a member of the Law School's bone marrow drive committee, said many of the 250 registrants in the run/walk were from the Law School, but that there were also a good number of people from the main campus and the Williamsburg community who supported the event. Ali's friends and family from across the country also ran in her honor that day, holding races at the same time in several states.
"Ali's Run" raised $3,900 toward the bone marrow drive and organizers said it will be an annual event.
In addition to the run, law students hosted the second annual "Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Tournament" on March 26 which raised almost $3,000 in additional funds for the bone marrow drive.
The William & Mary campus bone marrow drive is the second largest in the nation; only the U.S. military's is bigger. The drive is responsible for registering almost 10,000 of the four million bone marrow donors listed in the national registry. In 1996, the American Red Cross awarded the College the prestigious Zumwalt Community Award for its efforts in registering donors.
The campus drive to enter new donors into the registry will be held on Wednesday, April 13, in the William & Mary University Center from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and in the Law School entrance lobby from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. For more about the drive, please visit www.wm.edu/so/bonemarrowdrive.
The public is welcome to participate in the sixth annual "March Madness Free Throw Competition" to be held in the Law School's entrance lobby on Monday, April 11, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is $1 per free throw and teams of five may register for $25/team. Free pizza and soda are provided to all participants and prizes for most baskets will be awarded. Cookies and candy (.50 each) and raffle tickets ($1 each) for a fleece basketball blanket also are currently on sale at the Law Library. The competition, the candy/cookie sale, and raffle honor Ali Kaplan and all proceeds benefit the campus bone marrow drive. For more information, call Janey Janson at 757-221-3251(firstname.lastname@example.org).