Revisiting The Past: Bad Weather Has Never Stopped The Walk-A-Thon Spirit

The first Mercy/Xavier Walk-A-Thon in 1974 raised an impressive $15,000 between the two schools. 
Last year’s total? 
A whopping $240,733 combined. 
Even if we take into account inflation, that is a little crazy, right? Yeah, we thought so, too. 
The times (and fundraising totals) may have changed. However, six decades later, the spirit of the event remains the same. Even after 23 years apart, last year’s renewal of the tradition stood out as a special mix of camaraderie, competition and generosity. 
As we prepare for another Mercy/Xavier Walk-A-Thon to get underway this Friday, we wanted to once again dive into the past and look back on some memories from yesteryear. 
First, up? Let us travel back 43 years for the 1979 Walk-A-Thon…
When you open up the 1980 Xavier yearbook, you cannot help but notice one big difference compared to last year’s Walk-A-Thon… 
The clothes. 
OK, we could not resist. The wardrobe differences are predictable and an easy target. But what stands out is the headline and the weather in the old black and white photos. Atop the Walk-A-Thon spread on pages 70 and 71, the headline reads: Rain didn’t dampen intense Walk-A-Thon Spirit. 
There it is again…that word…Spirit. 
Last year, we might have been blessed with blue skies and late summer-like weather, but the sentiment was the same. 
Here’s what Madilyn Carbone ’22, the Mercy student Council President at the time, said: “It was so nice to see both schools united again after a very hard year. We could not have asked for a better turnout and the weather was perfect. The spirit and the enthusiasm during the entire month was amazing.” 
In the 1980 yearbook that excitement was also obvious. 
The opening line states: “Foul weather on October 28 could not dampen the spirit of over 800 enthusiastic Xavier and Mercy students, who after Bishop Reilly’s Mass at Mercy, trekked 10 miles to culminate the fifth annual Walk-A-Thon drive. This year’s hiking fundraiser brought in $33,751.33 for the two schools.”  
Rain or shine. Hot or cold. The goal and the meaning is always the same. 
Two schools. One family. 
Before that 1979 Walk-A-Thon, Bishop Reilly commented on the spirit and bond that is evoked by the event saying: “If Xavier is X-traordinary, then Mercy is Magnificent.” 
Here is to another great Walk-A-Thon, which culminates with a full day of fun on Friday, Oct. 21. For more information on the event, please check the email that all parents were sent yesterday. Alumni, more information will be coming soon. If you have any questions, please email [email protected]