Marlins Help MCDS Student Strike Out Melanoma



With the help of the Miami Marlins and a 50/50 raffle, MCDS Sophomore, Rachel Thomas, is raising money for the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF), which is leading the melanoma community to transform melanoma from one of the deadliest cancers to one of the most treatable through research, education, and advocacy.

“The MRF is the biggest international, non-profit organization dedicated to Melanoma, and they advocate for the Melanoma community, educate about Melanoma, and raise money for Melanoma research,” says Thomas. Melanoma is the most dangerous form of skin cancer, and “it’s important to raise awareness for the disease in a place like Miami because it’s sunny year-round”.

This is not Thomas’ first rodeo at the Marlins Park, as she has already led an event at the stadium earlier this year when the event raised over $5000 dollars. “I had to sell 100 tickets, for $25 dollars each, and for every ticket sold, $10 goes back to the MRF. Once I sell 100 tickets, there is a 50/50 raffle.” A 50/50 raffle works so that 50% of the money raised goes to the raffle winner, and the other 50% goes to a charity, in this case, the Melanoma Research Foundation. At last year’s game, $3000 dollars of raffle tickets were sold, meaning that the MRF walked away with $1500.

Rachel says that the foundation is very near and dear to her heart because of the impact the disease has had on her family and her. “I started volunteering for the MRF because I had a cousin that I was very close with that was diagnosed with late stage melanoma, and she passed away a few days after she turned 40.” Rachel has been dedicated to the cause ever since she chose the MRF as the organization for her Bat Mitzvah Project in 7th grade.

“She really cares about this issue and I thought it would be a good opportunity to help her out and to get some service hours,” Lila Rosendorf exclaimed. Rosendorf also explained the rewarding feeling for helping “a cause that really matters”.

Mr. Brennan, the teacher sponsor of the event, Rachel Thomas, and some Melanoma patients were recognized on the field before the game. “One of the melanoma patients got to throw out the first pitch; it was really incredible,” declared Thomas.

After the two Marlins’ game events, and an MRF Dodgeball Tournament earlier this year, Thomas concluded that planning a charity event isn’t easy. “You have to convince people that your cause is worthy of their time and money,” Thomas disclosed. “Even though it can be demanding at times, it’s worth it to meet and interact with the people that would be affected by the money and awareness raised by my event.”