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Students run to fulfill children's dreams

By Jessica Nekl
On November 15, 2011

At 9 p.m. in the Gallagher Student Center Theatre on

Thursday, the Distance4Dreams (D4D) club will be hosting a fundraiser concert featuring aca- Bellas, Harmon-X and the Xavier Singers. Admission is $2 dollars. D4D partners with A Special Wish Foundation to sponsor families with children who have life-threatening diseases in order

to send them to Disney World for a vacation. D4D also travels to Disney World in January and partakes in the Disney Marathon Weekend, which will happen on Jan. 7 – 8, 2012. The club has been at Xavier for three years, fostering leadership in the Xavier community and making

a difference in the lives of many children and their families.

D4D has a fundraising goal of $12,000 this year. It costs about $4,000 per family of four for an all-expense paid trip to Disney World. Money is usually raised by having

friends and family sponsor those who are running in the marathon, pledging a certain amount of money per mile or a donation at the finish line. All the proceeds benefit terminally-ill children and their families who otherwise

would not be able to go to Disney World.

Nick Rivera, a senior at Xavier, is the President of D4D. Rivera is very passionate about D4D's mission. Not only is he planning on running the marathon, but he also hopes to run a half marathon the day before, completing what is

called the "goofy challenge." "Running 39.3 miles in a weekend is not the most pleasant thing to do," Rivera said, "but when you add the goal of granting these wishes and the awareness we are raising within the community, someone's opinion on running becomes completely altered." Getting to know the families that D4D sponsors is an added incentive for the club members to go to Disney World and participate in the marathon.

"I think the opportunity that we are providing for the children

and their families is fantastic, and is able to provide motivation to continue running," Rivera said. "This is exactly in line with our motto: Dedicated to dreams, no matter the distance." All are encouraged to come out on Thursday night and support this cause.

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