Article by Colin Mackintosh
One way the MCRC gives back to the greater Vermont community is through the Epilepsy Foundation of Vermont. The relationship between the MCRC and the Epilepsy Foundation originally began after club member and Middlebury graduate, Jason Fleishman ’03.5, was diagnosed with epilepsy and passed away from medical complications. Twice a year, members of the club participate in Casino Night and the Big Chill in Burlington. Casino Night is simply a gambling-styled fundraiser, while the Big Chill is a an event where participants dive into the cold waters of Lake Champlain to raise money. The players help out with the set up and clean up at Casino Night, but a few lucky club members that are at least 21 years old have the opportunity to be dealers. Kyle Dickey ’17 said about dealing cards, “It was great to interact with some members of the community, and I really got on a roll bringing in a lot of money for epilepsy.” The enthusiasm Kyle expresses for his dealing is indicative of the attitude of all MCRC members when working at Casino Night or the Big Chill. These events help raise money and awareness for the Epilepsy Foundation of Vermont, and our contributions have not been overlooked.
This fall, Kyle Dickey ’17 and Will Schwartz ’16 attended the Epilepsy Foundation’s annual meeting in Burlington. Numerous parents of children with Epilepsy were in attendance, in addition to doctors and other members of the community that wanted to show their support. At the dinner, Kyle and Will accepted an award “in appreciation of the Middlebury College Rugby Club’s outstanding support of the Epilepsy Foundation of Vermont.” This award certainly means a lot to all of us in the MCRC, and is further proof of our commitment to community service. Moving forward, members of the MCRC plan to help support the Vermont Epilepsy Foundation. Also, the MCRC will be promoting the “Raise the Volume” concert in Middlebury in support of the Epilepsy Foundation. All of us at the club look forward to working closely with the Epilepsy Foundation of Vermont in the future, and lending support whenever it is needed.