Students and community members alike will have the opportunity to participate in the Memorial Challenge this Saturday, an event dedicated to the memories of Blaine Steinberg and Torin Tucker, members of the Class of 2015, who both died suddenly last year due to heart complications. The event, which is centered around physical fitness, encourages participants to challenge themselves with CrossFit- and nordic ski-themed exercises as well as raise money for the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Heart and Vascular Center.
“We wanted to do something different and fun and something that both [Steinberg] and [Tucker] would have really loved,” Jessie Frieder ’15, one of the event’s co-founders, said.
Steinberg was on the women’s varsity lacrosse team before concussions ended her career, though she remained physically active and enjoyed CrossFit, and Tucker was a member of the men’s Nordic ski team. Carrie Wolf ’15, also an event organizer, said that the team carefully crafted a challenge that would incorporate Steinberg’s love for CrossFit and Tucker’s love for skiing.
“It’s a CrossFit-style circuit workout, but there are plenty of skiing-specific exercises in all of the levels of the challenge,” she said. “We really wanted to touch on both of their interests and passions.”
Adam Fishman ’15, one of the events co-founders, said he and a group of other students thought of the idea for the event last spring following the losses of Steinberg and Tucker. Fishman said that the event hopes to bring together all different facets of the Dartmouth community in the name of Steinberg and Tucker.
“The point of this event is to get as many people and groups on campus to participate in the event as we can,” he said.
Fishman also said that he hopes to encapsulate the same feeling of love and community which he said took over campus last winter after the two students passed away.
“The nature of Dartmouth is just, ‘Go, go, go,’ but at the end of last winter, everyone just took a moment to stop and reflect and really think about the people we had just lost,” Fishman said.
Fishman added that he feels that athletics are something that everyone on campus can support, regardless of ability. He said that the team was inspired by the annual Prouty Event, which takes place every summer in Hanover to support cancer research and care at DHMC.
Jessie Frieder ’15, another co-founder, explained that the team was inspired by the Prouty event’s ability to rally so much of the Upper Valley community under a common cause.
Frieder added that the team wanted to “cap off” spring term with an event that she said will be both fun and different than other athletic fundraisers. She said that she did not want to hold a traditional running race, since there are already several running fundraiser events, like the CHaD Hero race that takes place each fall to support the Children’s Hospital at DHMC.
Fishman said that it was important to the team to craft a challenge that both Steinberg and Tucker would appreciate.
“The idea was to get together as a community again and to remember them by doing something that they loved,” he said.
Wolf said the variation within the 14-person organizational team reflects the desired overall diversity of the event.
“Almost no one on our team is in the same [Greek] house,” Wolf said. “We have athletes and non-athletes. It really reflects the amount of support we are getting for this event.”
Fishman said over 300 people have registered so far. He also said that the team is projected to exceed its stated $30,000 fundraising goal, since the event has raised just over $18,000 already.
Fishman also said that he, Frieder and others who initially thought of the event went into it with the idea of having events like the Memorial Challenge either annually or potentially termly.
“We didn’t go into this thinking it was going to be a one-time thing, so we’re hoping we, and other people behind the cause, can do this again,” he said, adding that the overwhelming support has made him hopeful that similar events will be possible in the future.
According to the event website, participants must register before the event, but people who show up to the event unregistered will be encouraged to volunteer. Challengers must pay $20 at the time of registration and must fundraise at least $50, including the initial cost of registration, by the time of the event. Following the event, there will be a barbecue catered by Everything But Anchovies, one of the event’s sponsors.