HUNTINGTON, W.Va. – The Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine announced today that its largest annual scholarship fundraiser, Standing Out in Our Field, set for Sept. 19, will not be held in 2020.
The event, now in its seventh year, typically draws a crowd of 500 attendees, including medical student and staff volunteers from the School of Medicine, Cabell Huntington Hospital and the community. Standing Out in Our Field raises about $120,000 for medical student scholarships. Funds raised from the event go into an endowment fund to support scholarships for students.
“We don’t know what September holds, but cannot as a medical school, in good conscience, hold an event that could potentially put people at risk of exposure to COVID-19,” said Joseph I. Shapiro, M.D., dean of the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “Although this event is held outdoors, we felt we could not effectively model safe social distancing requirements.”
Like other nonprofits, the school remains concerned about the lost revenue and the impact on student scholarships. More than 93% of the school’s 318 medical students rely on scholarships and/or loans to cover their medical school expenses.
“Our sponsors—especially our title sponsors, Mountain Health Network’s Cabell Huntington Hospital and St. Mary’s Medical Center—have been steadfast in supporting this event and our medical school over the years,” said Linda S. Holmes, director of development and alumni affairs at the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine. “We have a generous community that has continually supported Standing Out in Our Field and helped us provide much-needed medical student scholarships.”
Plans are underway to reschedule the event for summer 2021. This year’s co-chairs, Bobby Miller, M.D., (Class of 1997) and Eric Hardin-Miller, have hosted the event under a massive tent on their 10-acre farm in Proctorville, Ohio, since its inception.
“From the live band and rockin’ dance floor to the incredible spread of food and themed décor, this event has become a destination and something guests look forward to each year,” the Millers said. “We will be honored to bring it back to the farm bigger and better than ever in 2021.”
“I hope our sponsors and those who have enjoyed the event in the past will still consider supporting scholarships by making a tax-deductible gift this year, in lieu of their 2020 sponsorship,” Holmes said.
For more information about medical student scholarships, please contact Holmes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 304-691-1711. To make a gift online to support the School of Medicine, please visit https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/marshalljcesom.
Photo Caption: Medical students act as the wait staff during the event, giving them an opportunity to interact with guests and take an active role in scholarship fundraising.
Media Contact: Sheanna M. Spence, Director of External Affairs, School of Medicine, 304-691-1639
Date Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2020