Soccer Team Holds Variety Show for Good Cause

Contact: Reilly Horan ’13

The Amherst women's soccer team found a
new way to raise money for cancer research.

AMHERST, Mass. – On Apr. 5, the Amherst College women’s soccer team produced a variety show in Valentine Dining Hall to fundraise for Relay For Life, a 24-hour walk/run headlined by the American Cancer Society.

Relay For Life aims to raise money and awareness for cancer research, celebrate cancer survivors and remember those who have lost their lives. Prior to participating in the relay on Apr. 13, members of Amherst’s women’s soccer team brainstormed ways to raise money beyond soliciting donations.

Chloe McKenzie ’14 proposed hosting a variety show, something she had done in high school. Her teammates loved the idea and assisted with organizing acts, securing a venue and rallying support from the student body. Each member of the team was in charge of sponsoring an act, whether that meant finding talented peers or starring in an act themselves.

On the night of the show, Amherst students filled Valentine Dining Hall to watch the acts, which ranged from violin and piano solos to a beatbox routine. The night featured several dance pieces and even included a music number performed by Nicki Minaj and Drake impersonators.

“The best part of the show for me was how a lot of the people performing would take a moment to dedicate their act to someone in their life who is or was affected by the disease,” McKenzie says. “That’s what we wanted to get across: while the acts ranged from really impressive numbers to people just making fools of themselves, we knew we were coming together for something bigger than ourselves.”

The event raised more than $400 toward the women’s soccer team’s total fundraising goal of $1,000. With the addition of post-show donations and fundraising through its Relay For Life webpage, the team surpassed $1,000 before participating in last Friday’s relay.

Kate Sisk ’14 co-hosted the variety show alongside Logan Buckner ’14. “What made this special was that it was a community building event," Sisk says. "The dining service was such a generous host, we had student-athletes and non-athletes performing and sharing their personal stories, the crowd was so supportive of everyone that performed, and even people who weren’t able to come donated to the cause.”

Cancer research has become a staple in the women’s soccer team’s community engagement efforts. “The American Cancer Society is a team cause, in a lot of different ways,” Mckenzie says. “I can definitely see us doing something like this again.”

The women’s soccer team is one of many Amherst athletic teams that does a formidable job creating sustainable relationships with community organizations and causes. Many of the underclassmen on the team worked to mobilize this particular effort, showing that the onus is not just on coaches or captains to seek out engagement opportunities, but on all team members.

Reilly Horan ’13 is one of three Athletics Liaisons for the Center for Community Engagement.
Athletics Liaisons connect athletes and coaches to the resources of the CCE and work to
create a sustainable culture of service within the Athletics Department. 

If your team is looking for community engagement projects
contact Roshard Bryant ’13 or Irene Hickey ’13 for advice and resources.
Or, visit them at the Keefe Campus Center during their office hours (Fridays, 10 a.m. to noon).

If your team just completed a community engagement event
, contact Reilly Horan ’13
so that the campus can become more aware of what your team is doing to get involved.