Benedictine College Students Jump In to Complete Missouri Portion of A-Cross America Relay

Benedictine College Students Jump In to Complete Missouri Portion of A-Cross America Relay

Friday, April 04, 2014

(Atchison, KS) – As Missouri was struggling to close the last of the open legs in some of the most rural areas of the Show-Me state’s portion of the A-Cross America Relay, Benedictine College stepped up to the challenge and its students took all of the remaining segments totaling 38 miles. Then Mike and Donna Egan agreed to cover the $262 fundraising commitment for each of the 14 Benedictine Runners. The Egan’s donation and the level of participation from Benedictine College students were precedent-setting for the Relay. The LIFE Runners A-Cross America Relay kicked off with a prayer service at the Brooklyn Bridge in New York and Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco on March 5, 2014. LIFE Runners are covering 4,089 miles (1,103 5K legs) as they make their way across America through all kinds of terrain and weather. The Relay Arms will unite on Palm Sunday at Falls Park near St. Joseph Cathedral in Sioux Falls, SD, with Finish line events on April 12 and 13, 2014.

The Egan donation was split between Save the Storks, Vitae Foundation and the National LIFE Runners team.  LIFE Runners president and co-founder, Dr. Pat Castle, said, “We are so blessed by Benedictine LIFE Runners and the Egan’s leap of faith and huge sacrifice.  This is the kind of action that has pushed the prolife movement forward to where we are today with the cultural change.” 

Alexandra Rysavy, leader of the Benedictine LIFE Runners, led the charge to enlist 14 runners for the challenge.  Alexandra is the daughter of Rob Rysavy, member of the LIFE Runner board of directors. “We are so excited to be a part of the Relay and represent Benedictine College at the same time. We strive to follow the LIFE Runner and Benedictine example to cast out far and deep,” she said.

Castle went on to say, “LIFE Runners know from the moment they put on the jersey that says ‘REMEMBER the Unborn’ that there will be sacrifices to make as a member of this national organization for life.  Sacrifices like high school sophomore James Vignola made when he chose to run 2 legs of last year’s Relay causing him to give up his eligibility to run with his Track team, according to Missouri High School Activities Association rules, and Ed Heigl, who suffers from stage 4 cancer, covered both last year and this year, several legs in Missouri, while carrying a large American flag extended high in the air.  Vignola and Heigl were two of the four LIFE Runners of the Year recipients for 2013.   We are all-in for this exciting effort that raises awareness, funds, and most importantly, prayers for the unborn.”

The National LIFE Runners Team prays, runs, raises funds for pregnancy help centers and builds awareness on the issue of abortion. LIFE Runners participate in races from 1 mile to the full marathon.  They have over 70 chapters and over 2,400 runners/walkers, ages 2 to 84, in 50 states and 15 other countries. For more information, go to

Founded in 1858, Benedictine College is a Catholic, Benedictine, residential, liberal arts college located on the bluffs above the Missouri River in Atchison, Kansas. The school is proud to have been named one of America’s Best Colleges by U.S. News & World Report as well as one of the top Catholic colleges in the nation by First Things magazine and the Newman Guide. It prides itself on outstanding academics, extraordinary faith life, strong athletic programs, and an exceptional sense of community and belonging. It has a mission to educate men and women within a community of faith and scholarship.