October 8, 2011

Yale Teammates Organize “Run for Mandi” Sunday Oct. 9

Trio Will Raise Funds for Mandi Schwartz Memorial Bursary

NEW YORK – Three former Yale women's ice hockey players -- Alyssa Clarke '09, Bray Ketchum '11 and Jackee Snikeris '11 -- have organized the "Run for Mandi" in honor of their former Bulldog teammate Mandi Schwartz, who passed away in April at the age of 23 after battling leukemia for more than two years. The three Bulldogs will run the 13.1-mile New York Road Runners Staten Island Half-Marathon on Sunday, Oct. 9, in Mandi's memory as a fundraiser for the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Bursary.

 "Mandi's story traveled around the nation and across the globe, touching many people's lives," Snikeris said. "She was and still is an inspiration to my team at Yale, the bigger Yale and hockey communities, and to many families who are fighting this disease. Her enthusiasm, spirit and love for life continued to shine every day. No matter how much pain she was in, she never showed it. She kept a stationary bike in every one of her hospital rooms and was biking at home two days before she passed. Mandi was a warrior."

Clarke, Ketchum and Snikeris are running as "Team Mandilion", named in honor of one of Mandi's favorite stretching exercises. Ketchum and Snikeris will be joined by their brothers on the run.

"None of us have run 13.1 miles before, but we have trained for rigorous competition back when we were members of the Yale Hockey team," said Snikeris. "Mandi has given us inspiration during our long, hot training days preparing for this race. We think of her -- determined, positive and always smiling through thick and thin. When we think we cannot go anymore, we remember our freshmen and sophomore years when Mandi was the ONLY one who passed the running test. She would finish this race and so will we."

The Mandi Schwartz Memorial Bursary is a fund at Mandi's high school, Athol Murray College of Notre Dame in her home town of Wilcox, Sask. It offers financial assistance to future Notre Dame Hounds (75%), and to The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Canada (25%).

"Mandi was a leader, scholar and tremendous athlete at Notre Dame and prided herself in the ideals of the school," Snikeris said. "Their philosophy was to teach the students 'Achievement with character.' Mandi carried herself in this manner every day of her life – she was self-less, hard working and determined to make those around her feel special. Mandi was a true friend."

For further information on the Run for Mandi, visit http://www.runformandi.webs.com.  

For further information on the Mandi Schwartz Memorial Bursary, visit http://www.notredame.sk.ca/development/mandiinspiresme.php.

For further information about Mandi Schwartz, visit http://www.yalebulldogs.com/mandi.

Report by Sam Rubin '95 (sam.rubin@yale.edu), Yale Sports Publicity