St. John’s Women’s Tennis Players Allison
Davidson and Lauren Lorenzetti will run a half-marathon this
weekend to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
By Mike “Mex” Carey
St. John's women's tennis player Allison Davidson is taking her
Like most kid's, she has followed her mother's advice before,
but this time, she's putting her feet into it - in more ways than
Lorie Davidson told Allison, a senior who captain who was the
Red Storm's most valuable player last spring, to "put yourself in
someone else's shoes," because she might learn something.
Allison has learned a lot from her mom in the last month or
Upon learning recently that one of her former teammates at the
University of North Florida, Julie Stoppelli, was doing a
fund-raiser for her mother, who recently passed away from cancer,
Allison took matters into her own hands.
Or feet, as is the case in this situation.
Stoppelli organized "Jillian's Angel's," a group that will
raising money for the American Cancer Society this weekend by
running a half-marathon in Tampa, Florida.
The younger Davidson, who transferred to St. John's last year
from UNF, played tennis with Stoppelli at the Jacksonville-based
school for two years. She's kept in touch with her and when she
learned of the fund-raiser, Davidson, and senior teammate Lauren
Lorenzetti, decided to take part.
"Julie is a really good friend from my first two years at
college and we've remained close friends ever since," Davidson
explained. "She's a very strong person, sometimes too strong, and
it's hard to see someone you care about go through such a traumatic
So Davidson joined in.
The hard part is that when Davidson and Lorenzetti decided to
take part, they were in the midst of the women's tennis team's fall
"I honestly never thought I could run more than five miles," she
said. "Before training, I had a hard time running three. Running
over the past three weeks has made me realize that our bodies can
do a lot.
"I don't think a lot of people realize what the power of will
can make your body do. Now it's pretty easy to run six miles, so
we'll see what happens next Saturday."
For the pair of women's tennis players, however, it's more than
just about running 13 miles on Saturday.
"A couple of years ago, I almost lost my sister (Tara) to a
non-curable cancer," Lorenzetti explained, "so cancer is a pretty
touchy subject for me. I've also wanted to do something to
contribute to or help the American Cancer Society or anyone that
has had to go through or deal with cancer in their life; and this
was the perfect chance."
Balancing their rigorous practice schedule, in addition to
classes and work has been a challenge for the pair, but they know
what they are doing is worth the sacrifice.
"I've never lost any close friends or family to cancer, but I
have had very close friends who have had to live with the loss of a
loved-one," Davidson said. "It's forever affected their lives. I
can only imagine they pain they had had to endure."
"This race means a great deal to me, especially considering my
sister had cancer," Lorenzetti said. "Fortunately, my sister did
beat the cancer, but I know what a tragedy it is to even experience
something of this nature so being able to help someone else who had
to live through this unfortunate experience is really amazing."
The duo also like helping out when they can. Both Davidson and
Lorezetti are active members of the Student-Athlete Advisory
Committee and have done community service work since coming to St.
John's. Along with their teammates, they have worked with
V.I.T.A.L., where they have worked with meals-on-wheels and
providing clothing to the homeless, and R.A.R.E., where they've
spoken to kids at local schools.
"I think that's what is great about St. John's," Davidson said.
"You don't have many Vincentian schools in the nation, and it is
great that St. John's stresses the important of community
This time, however, she's not only putting her hands into it,
Allison Davidson is putting her feet into it. "I'm really excited
for the run," she said. "My ultimate goal is to someday run a full
marathon. I'm looking forward to running with Julie and Lauren and
just having a good time.
"The meaning behind the run makes it all the more
If you would like to make a donation for the run, please contact
Lizz Mancini in the Compliance Office of Alumni Hall in Room 206 or
call (718) 990-2138. The last day for donations will be Thursday,