By Caroline Brooks
The competitive Spartans Will spirit doesn’t end with the academic year, nor is it confined to athletics.
On Sunday, May 21, teams representing colleges at Michigan State University competed against one another, alongside nine other teams from throughout the state, including Board of Water and Light, Farm Bureau, and a team of area law enforcement officers, in support of support a meaningful local cause: the Capital Area Dragon Boat Race to benefit the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing.
The Eli Broad College of Business and the College of Arts and Letters each created teams comprised of faculty, staff, and alumni – even deans, volunteering their time and their money to this important local cause.
In sum, teams raised $10,000 for the Women’s Center.
“Participating in events like this represents MSU’s commitment to the local community, and to making an impact on causes we hold near to our hearts,” said Kathy Petroni, Broad College of Business Deloitte/Michael Licata Professor of Accounting and associate dean for undergraduate programs. “As a university, we are stronger together and this is a welcomed opportunity to be a part of something with our colleagues from within the Broad College and across campus,” she said.
The annual event attracts teams from across the state for the races which benefit the Women’s Center, a nonprofit that provides resources, support, and services for women in need. In spite of rain and clouds, the day will include tai chi warm up for the athletes, fun activities for kids, a remembrance ceremony for cancer survivors, and traditional Chinese activities conducted by the Confucius Institutes from Michigan State University and Wayne State University.
“Every year there is a team of survivors,” said Cindie Alwood, executive director of the WCGL. “I think for the teams it’s kind of reclaiming their bodies and pushing themselves in a way they didn’t think possible. Dragon boating is very strenuous; it’s putting yourself out there in a way that you can’t take back. It helps people come to terms with what’s happened to them and take back their personal power.”
“This is a unique team-building activity that’s vital to the ongoing support of the Women’s Center of Greater Lansing. It’s great to see so many people from local and state law enforcement, from MSU colleges, and from local corporations voluntarily coming forward to make a difference in the lives of women and families in our community,” said Cheri DeClercq, WCGL board member and Broad College of Business assistant dean for MBA programs.
This year’s sponsors included Mrs. B’s Daycare, Clark Construction, Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau, Lansing State Journal, MSU and WSU’s Confucius Institutes, Shaheen Chevrolet, Resche Strategies, and Fireside Grill.