Quinn Pallardy is a current Junior at Peoria Notre Dame High School and the program’s top fundraiser for Hits for the Cure last season. Her enormous heart along with her incredible work ethic shined through throughout the entire softball season. Along with awarding her a bat, we also got a chance to interview her about her experience with St. Jude and Hits for the Cure!
Can you describe your experience with raising money for Hits for the Cure? How did your family and friends influence you?
“I come from a pretty big family and raising money for St. Jude has always been something we like to do. I reached out to my family and friends and they were so supportive and thought Hits for the Cure was a great idea. They always kept up with me and encouraged me by checking how many hits I had. We would talk about it at dinner and holidays and it was something that brought us together. I think my visit to St. Jude really inspired me to work as hard as I could to raise money. It was such a good experience and I think knowing that this was all for them helped me in my journey a lot.”
Tell me about your experience visiting St. Jude!
“We were visiting on a craft day. The kids were making slime. One instance that stood out to me was when one of the little girls was a little down in the dumps before we got there. Myself and one of my former players ended up really bonding with her and helped her in making the craft. It felt great to make her smile and ended up looking like she was having the time of her life. Seeing her smile when she was having a hard time really helped and inspired me. I really hope we can go visit them again.”
How much did your team raise? If so, how does that amount affect you? In your own words, describe how you went about raising the money.
“I can’t remember the exact number, but I know the number keeps getting larger every year! I hope we can keep making that goal in the years to come. I raised the money by posting the instruction sheet we got from the charity on Facebook and introduced my followers to Hits for the Cure as well as informed them on how to donate. I got a huge response with texts and calls of family and friends wanting to donate which was amazing. If more people knew Chloe’s story, I believe more people would get involved. It was so touching and we all want to keep continuing her legacy. The PND softball program really tries to honor her and her great idea.”
What did it feel like to win a bat?
“It’s pretty awesome! I received it after the season was over, so I am ready for the next one to use it. Being able to use the new bat makes me think about how hard we worked to raise money for those kids. Every time I use it, I remember what it means to raise the funds for the charity and a great reminder of what all of those kids go through. It makes me want to work even harder to get more hits during the season!”
Hits for the Cure wants to thank Quinn and the Peoria Notre Dame Softball Program for all their hard work and dedication toward this amazing cause! Thanks again, Quinn, for letting us interview you!
For every team that participates, Hits for the Cure advises the team to have a dedicated “representative”. The representative is assigned to be in charge of the tasks involved in carrying out the fundraiser. Frankie Boley was Peoria Notre Dame’s representative in the 2016 softball season. We decided to ask her a few questions so other baseball and softball players interested in having their team join Hits for the Cure can get an idea of what it is like to be a representative.
Describe what you did as a representative for Hits for the Cure.
I tried to do everything in my power to help the children at St. Jude. I kept track of players’ pledge sheets and money, arranged a day to visit some of the patients at St. Jude, contacted local news stations and writers to publicize the foundation and the Hits for the Cure game, and tried to communicate well with Chloe, Coach Petersen, and Coach Olehy about everything that was going on.
What advice do you give to the players who want to be representatives for their team?
My advice is to be as encouraging as you can towards the other girls. Be understanding that it is hard for people to give money but also be reminding of what a good cause it is. Remember to be patient when collecting money and plan strict dates for turn-ins, but also allow plenty of time for people to get their money in even after those deadlines. It is important to be a good and supportive leader but also be stern and hold your girls accountable to their two needed pledges.
What was the best part about being a representative?
The best part of being a representative was being able to help those beautiful kids at St. Jude. It was wonderful to be able to represent a program that works and plays for a reason even bigger than softball. I was honored to be able to serve my coaches, teammates, and St. Jude as a representative.
How did you benefit from being a part of Hits for the Cure (what will you take away from this experience)?
Being a part of Hits for the Cure helped me grow as a person. It was so amazing to meet and see the kids at St. Jude Children’s Hospital. I was taught new leadership skills and even pushed out of my comfort zone calling sponsors over the phone who I did not even know. It was a great opportunity to work hard for a good cause.
Metamora met Notre Dame on April 16, 2016 to compete in a doubleheader. The game took place at Louisville Slugger Sports Complex and the Irish won 2-1 and 14-2. Even though the teams are known rivals, they joined together to gain something greater than a win: helping children defeat cancer. The doubleheader was Hits for the Cure’s first charity game and it was a huge success. From the combination of a gate fee, 50/50 raffle, and concessions, the teams together raised $365. Not only did they raise money, but they helped spread the word of what Hits for the Cure is about by bringing so many people to the game who showed their support for the teams and the charity.
By: Adam Duvall – Journal Star sports reporter
PEORIA — Notre Dame hit a home run in the first year of the Hits for the Cure campaign.
Members of the Irish softball team presented a check for $21,323.14 to the St. Jude Midwest Affiliate Clinic on Tuesday morning. Recent ND graduate Chloe Petersen founded the not-for-profit charity with the goal of raising money for St. Jude in hopes of finding a cure for childhood cancer.
“Chloe has just been working really, really hard on this,” ND coach Ed Olehy said. “It doesn’t take much to come up and realize how important it is. It’s fabulous, as far as I’m concerned.”
Petersen and her teammates took a tour, did arts and crafts with patients and had lunch as part of their two-hour visit. The two-time Journal Star All-Area first baseman spent up until age 6 in and out of hospitals, mostly at St. Jude being treated for a Wilms’ tumor, a malignant tumor in the kidney causing cancer.
During the tour, Petersen ran into one of her former physicians, Dr. Kay Saving. The pair shared a hug and some old memories before joining three more of Petersen’s former doctors and St. Jude staff members for a picture.
Coincidentally, Petersen met a little boy, Kacer, who is undergoing treatment for a Wilms’ tumor, at arts and crafts. He provided Petersen with an extra-long hug at the end of the day.
“I think it’s the most amazing thing to be able to give back, especially because I’m giving back to the exact place that gave to me,” said Petersen, who returns to St. Jude for yearly checkups.
How Hits for the Cure worked was, a person pledged an amount — whether 25 cents or $25 — for every hit the ND softball team, which posted 327 hits, got this season. All levels of the softball program as well as the Notre Dame varsity baseball team, which recorded 306 hits, and its lower levels also lent a hand this season.
This, however, isn’t the end for Hits for the Cure, as plans for expansion are in the works. Petersen says she wants the charity to include fellow members of the Big 12 Conference along with the Mid-Illini Conference.
With Petersen heading off to Kansas next week to start her college softball career, she’ll rely on her underclass teammates to step up in a big way. Junior-to-be Megan Kemp says she is ready to do whatever is necessary, especially after seeing firsthand what actually goes on at St. Jude.
“I’ll just try to help and keep this going, keep it growing and hopefully, try to make this a big thing that other schools do,” she said.
Adam Duvall can be reached at 686-3207 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @AdamDuvall.