PT students win national fundraising competition

Taylor Trapp, Emily Snyder and Rachel Bradley with the Award of Merit they received from the Foundation for Physical Therapy for raising over $6,000 in the 2016-17 VCU-Marquette Challenge. Their fundraisers included a PT Prom and an orientation boat party for the class of 2019.

For the third consecutive year, UIC physical therapy students have won honors in a national fundraising competition to benefit PT research.

The UIC team received an Award of Merit for raising more than $6,000 in the 2016-2017 VCU-Marquette Challenge sponsored by the Foundation for Physical Therapy.

In the two previous years, UIC students received Honorable Mention for raising more than $3,000.

They earned the money through bake sales, social events, sales of UIC-themed clothing and other fundraisers.

UIC joined the competition in 2013-14, said Jennifer Dent ‘16 DPT, one of the early organizers with classmates Jessica Wierdak ‘15 DPT, Alyssa Andreasik ‘16 DPT and Jennifer Zalon ‘16 DPT.

Co-leaders in subsequent years included current students Leah Nichols, Amanda Fitzgerald, Taylor Trapp, Emily Snyder and Rachel Bradley.

“We’re proud of them because they do this in their spare time, while they’re in a very rigorous program that requires a lot of study outside of class,” said Gay Girolami, director of professional education and clinical associate professor of physical therapy.

“The fact that they want to raise money to enhance the physical therapy profession is wonderful.”

Nearly 150 university programs participated in the competition this year, raising a total of about $341,000 for scholarships and grants that advance patient care. The challenge is the foundation’s largest annual student-driven fundraising effort.