Notre Dame women join Spin-A-Thon

Author: Mary Lee Johnson

SOUTH BEND -- Four Notre Dame women's basketball players joined other riders of stationary bikes at the third annual Pink Zone Spin-A-Thon Saturday at Knollwood Country Club.

The Fighting Irish players appeared after their game against Providence, riding and providing encouragement for other riders.

The 24-hour Spin-A-Thon, sponsored by Notre Dame women's basketball, the College of Science and Knollwood Country Club supports local women with breast cancer. The riders started at 8 a.m. and will finishing today at 8 a.m.

"I'm riding for 24 hours for my mother Leeanne," said Greg Feldman, of Granger. "My mom is a five-year survivor and she really doesn't like to talk about her bout with cancer. But she came down today and I could tell she was humbled by my efforts."

All money raised by the Spin-A-Thon will benefit Pink Zone, a nationwide initiative organized by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association to raise awareness and research money for breast cancer.

"I'm riding for Joy De Salvo who is a member of my family," said Renate Crawford, of Granger. "I read on one my friends' website, "If you think running a marathon is tough try chemo." My husband and I are riding the 24 hours because he is the dean of the College of Science and they do research on cancer and the event is important to the community because it helps provide services for women who can't afford mammograms."

Spinners can ride as long as they want -- an hour or a couple of hours. There's a new theme each hour -- including games, movies, trivia and entertainment by local performers.

"This cause is very important because the money raised goes toward research. raises awareness and helps women with no insurance with breast cancer," said Rhonda Bremer, athletic director at Knollwood. "We have 25 bikes that will be rode for 24 hours. The spinners may ride as long as they would like. A lot of people are part of the club and many rode for a while and said the would be back later."

More than 50 people took part at the facility. Riders who stayed for 24 hours raised $1,200 at $50 a hours. All the money goes to Saint Joseph Regional Medical Center, summer cancer research internships, and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund. The Knollwood club raised about $40,000 last year and expects to raise the same this year.

" I think it's the cause that made me want to ride today," said Kerry Cook, of Granger. "It makes me and my friends feel good to be able to help out in some way."