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As an overcast sky gave way to a bright October sun on the morning of October 21, members of Brown University’s football team were already hard at work on the main green, kicking-off their annual “Bench Press for Cancer” initiative in support of The Miriam Hospital. Now in its 16th year, the longstanding effort raises funds for the hospital’s Cancer Survivorship Programs.
Beginning at 10:00 a.m. and continuing through the afternoon, the players, their fellow students, Brown faculty, and staff from The Miriam took turns raising the bar – bench pressing either 75 or 165 pounds for as many repetitions as they could. Leading up to the big day, participants asked family and friends to pledge a donation for each rep they accomplished. The goal was to raise as much money as possible to help patients battling cancer.
“Bench Press for Cancer” began in 2004 when the football team established the event to help former teammate and team captain Lawrence Rubida, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma while a student at Brown. Lawrence, sadly, passed away in 2005, but the team has continued the event to honor his memory.
Since its inception, “Bench Press for Cancer” has raised more than $87,000 for The Miriam’s renowned cancer program, including nearly $19,000 in 2018. Donations to this year’s effort will continue to be collected by the Brown football team through the end of the semester, with an announcement of the total raised expected in early 2020.