The Elms College cross country program will hold its second annual 100-Mile Relay for Epilepsy Awareness Friday, April 15, and the whole campus community is invited to participate.

2nd Annual Epilepsy Awareness Fundraiser

The Elms College cross country program will hold its second annual 100-Mile Relay for Epilepsy Awareness Friday, April 15, and the whole campus community is invited to participate.

Cross Country Team Plans 2nd Annual
Epilepsy-Awareness Fundraiser

The cross country team at the College of Our Lady of the Elms is looking to break a few special personal records: 100 miles, 14 hours and 20 minutes, and $1228.09.

Last spring, the cross country program raised $1,228.09 with its first 100-Mile Relay for Epilepsy Awareness in support of Jackie Quetti, who was then the junior team captain (she is now senior team captain). The team completed the 100-mile relay in 14 hours and 20 minutes.

This year, the team hopes to raise $2,000. The funds will go to the Epilepsy Foundation of New England, in support of research toward a cure, and community-based programming supporting people living with epilepsy.

This year’s relay will be open not just to the team but to the entire campus community. All faculty, staff and students at the college are welcome to join the cross country team anytime between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. on Friday, April 15, in front of the Maguire Center to have their miles count toward the grand total. Miles can be run or walked.

"It doesn't matter if you walk or run -- we are just hoping that we can get as many members of the Elms community to come together to support this cause this year," Jackie said.

“We really want to get the entire campus involved, and we feel there’s no greater way than asking them to run/walk right alongside us on campus, which is great for students and staff who might not be able to get to the Greater Springfield Epilepsy Walk in Forest Park on April 30,” said Coach Matt Dyer.

“On April 15, we'll have goodies, maps to show you our 1-mile loop around campus, and gorgeous weather (gorgeous weather not guaranteed),” Dyer added. “What better way to spend your lunch break than getting a little exercise for a good cause?”

Donation cans will be available outside the college’s Maguire Center athletics facility on April 15. Donors also can support Team Jackie online at

"The foundation uses these funds for education, support services activities and research for epilepsy in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Maine," Jackie explained. "Examples of where these funds are used are for regional support groups for families, camps for children with epilepsy, school nurse trainings, art therapy projects and many other important areas that provide support to people living with epilepsy and their families."

“We're really proud of Jackie and the work she does to spread awareness of epilepsy, which affects a lot of families: 3 million Americans and 65 million people worldwide have epilepsy,” Dyer said.

"Since I came to Elms as a student, everyone here has been very supportive of me and my condition," Jackie said. "In particular, Coach Dyer has gone out of his way to not only encourage participation in fundraising for epilepsy but to research the condition to better understand how it impacts me, my running, my schoolwork and my daily life.

"I have been blessed that my coach and teammates have been supportive of my condition and that we are able to organize and participate in this relay again this year. It's exciting to know that the staff and students will be participating this year as well."

Campus Ministry is also organizing a Mass for epilepsy awareness at 12:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 19. "I will be a Eucharistic minister at the Mass that day," Jackie said. "Given that my faith means a lot to me, I was very honored that Campus Ministry would chose to have a Mass in support of people living with epilepsy.

"It's comforting to know that there is always a place where you can go to help to manage the frustration, obstacles and challenges that having epilepsy can present. Hopefully, this mass will offer the same comfort to any others dealing with this challenge or any other, and will bring more awareness to the condition of epilepsy."