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Unity in the Community - Fairmont & Alter

Unity in the Community Alter & FairmontKETTERING, Ohio - Archbishop Alter High students showed their support for the fight against cancer by dedicating the 2020 Unity in the Community Award with partner Fairmont High School to the Ride Cincinnati fundraiser for cancer research and care.

“Unity in the Community” is a partnership between Archbishop Alter and Fairmont High Schools, Community Blood Center, and Universal 1 Credit Union.  Both schools host fall blood drives and jointly present the $1,000 award sponsored by Universal 1 to a designated charity.

Despite COVID-19 restrictions at their Sept. 30 and Nov. 3, 2020 Unity blood drives, Alter and Fairmont combined for 131 donors, 47 first-time donors, and 106 donations. They contributed 131 hours of community service in their sixth annual Unity campaign.

They alternate years for choosing the Unity Award recipient. The Alter High CURE Club selected Ride Cincinnati for the 2020 award. The CURE Club is a cancer support group that sponsors the school blood drives.

The award is traditionally presented at halftime of the Alter-Fairmont basketball game, but attendance was limited under pandemic restrictions at sporting events. CURE Club president Jack Ruffalo and Lane Nevers presented the $1,000 check to Ride Cincinnati founder Allison Gordon on April 26 at Alter High School, along with Alter blood drive coordinator Jeanne Kernan, Universal 1’s Mary Cook and Sam McLain and CBC’s Donna Teuscher.

“We’re excited to donate, and it’s the students who choose the charity,” said Universal 1’s Mary Cook. “It’s wonderful and so helpful,” said Allison Gordon.

The inspiration to choose Ride Cincinnati came from Lane Nevers, whose father is chair of Ride Cincinnati.  Lane and Jack said they dedicated the award to their Alter coaches who are cancer survivors.

“My dance coach Mary Lynn Dorrow, and his football coach Ed Domsitz both struggled with cancer,” said Lane. “The closest research center is in Columbus and we wanted to donate for cancer research closer to here in Cincinnati.”

“Fifteen years ago, my mother lost her battle with breast cancer,” said Allison. “My father is an avid cyclist. I’m a two-time breast cancer survivor. The first year we raised $143,000 and we knew we had something going.”

The 2020 ride was virtual, but the event will be back on the road Sept. 18. Lane and Jack are both seniors and both headed to Ohio State University in the fall. Lane is hoping to participate in the ride.
“Last year the minimum distance was eight miles but it’s up to 16 miles this year,” she said. “So, I think I’m going to have to start training!”

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