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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Corps to march 18 miles, support local families

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Photo by File

Last year the Corps of Cadets’ March to the Brazos raised $126,000 for March of Dimes.

The Corps of Cadets has been marching toward their goal of raising $160,000 for the March of Dimes, an organization whose mission is to fight premature birth, since the beginning of the fall of 2016.
More than 2,300 cadets will participate in the 41st annual March to the Brazos Saturday to show support for March of Dimes and families and babies in the Brazos Valley area. The march is 18 miles, beginning in the Quad, going through Main Campus, West Campus and the Animal Science Teaching, Research & Extension Complex near the Brazos River. Between 1977 and 2016, the march raised more than $3 million for the March of Dimes, according to the Corps of Cadets website.
This march is a way for the Corps to give back to the entirety of the Bryan-College Station area, not just Texas A&M, said G-1 cadet Cameron Stokes.
“We realize the importance of being active in the community,” Stokes said. “You may not feel like you’re always making a difference, but when the Corps as a whole comes together, it makes a huge impact.”
Despite having raised a huge amount — $126,000, to be exact — of funding for March of the Dimes last year, the cadets are shooting for a higher total in this year’s march.
“Last year we raised $126,000,” Ryan Kreider, Corps of Cadets public relations officer said. “We’re trying to step up our game this year for this great organization.”
Individual outfits within the Corps are encouraged to raise money throughout the year, but some outfits go beyond what is expected.
“A big way that we fundraise is through our partnership with David Gardner Jewelers,” Kreider said. “They donate a custom Texas A&M watch to all 46 outfits for them to raffle off. We’re very thankful for that.”
Squadron 16 is currently in first place, said supply chain management junior Austen Alvarado.
“We encouraged our outfit to sell the raffle tickets from the very beginning. We communicated a lot with parents and that has really helped us,” Alvarado said.
The Corps of Cadets Association has been a huge help in the fundraising, Kreider said.
“I reached out to the Corps of Cadets Association and sent out a template for each outfit to use to send to alumni,” Kreider said. “Within a day we received great results. Alumni are always so willing to help our cause.”
According to Alvarado, some outfits have taken to fundraising in additional ways to ramp up the competition among cadets.
“Last semester for Holiday on the Quad, we partnered with Cupcakes for a Cause for our outfit’s booth. We made hot chocolate and cupcakes and sold them during the event. All the proceeds went toward our March of Dimes fund,” Alvarado said.
Other outfits have used something from their daily routine to help raise money: Push-ups. G-1, currently in second place, held an event called Pushing for Preemies.
“People will agree to donate 50 cents or 75 cents per push-up, then we go out one morning and do as many as we can. We can easily raise a couple hundred dollars,” Kathryn Sweeny, environmental science junior, said.
The Corps of Cadets’ motivation behind this philanthropy is the core value of selfless service Kreider said.
“We’ve been partnered with the March of Dimes since 1977 and since then we have raised over $3 million, which makes the Corps of Cadets the largest fundraiser for the March of Dimes in the United States,” Kreider said.
While living up to the core values is one of the key motivations, there are also some cadets who have a special motivation to raise money for this cause.
“I know premature birth has affected some cadets,” said Alvarado. “Also, my Fish Camp namesake lost their daughter to premature birth. Seeing the real impact that this has on families and how we are helping to prevent tragedies like that is a great way to put everything in perspective.”
The Corps of Cadets’ fundraising will be celebrated at their annual March to the Brazos. The entire Corps walks nine miles to the Brazos river to reflect on the year with their outfits and take on their new roles.
Fundraising for the Corps of Cadet’s March of Dimes comes to end Friday, April 28. Donations can be made at http://corpsofcadets.org/march-to-the-brazos/

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