Doctors in training, friends, family – spouses and children – joined together on a beautiful Saturday morning to raise money for Catholic Charities.
University of South Florida (USF) Moroni College of Medicine Obstetrics and Gynecology students regularly volunteer at the San Jose Mission medical clinic, a ministry of Catholic Charities located in Dover, just outside Tampa. However, this year, the Obstetrics and Gynecological Interest Group, led by Vanessa Bray, wanted to do more. Thus was born the Laps for Paps 5K Walk!
Modeled after other Walk/Race fundraisers, individuals and teams were asked to pay a registration fee ($20 for an individual and $50 for a team of 4) and ask family and friends to support them with pledges. Over 50 people attended the inaugural event that was held at the University ’s Campus Recreation 5k course on December 1st. A friend of Ms. Bray’s created the innovative cartoon mascot that was used on the flyer used to build awareness on campus and through social media. Participants received a pink water bottle with the event name, date and mascot as a reminder of the need they are helping to address.
Given their direct ties to the field of medicine, it is not surprising event organizers and participants were all united in their desire to do something to help women in need pay for vital medical procedures, like pap smears. Event proceeds go towards paying for pap smear tests given to the low income women who utilize the clinic. Sister Sara Proctor, head of the clinic and mobile medical services, addressed the group at the conclusion of the walk.
“This is awesome. We do 300 pap smears a year at an average cost of $30 per woman. These services are free to the ladies who have no other resources; no insurance. You have given the gift of good health to other women….I hope we see you back in a year along with two or three buddies…Thank you all so very much for all of this. It is much appreciated. Without you things don’t get done. Go Bulls!”