By Samantha BorawSki
March 15 marked the 14th Annual Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance, which helps benefit members of the Saint Mary’s community. This year’s ben- eficiary was Jason Richter, who worked at Saint Mary’s University from 1998 to 2010 in Student Activities. He was among the group that originally created the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance in 2001.
Last summer, Richter was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is a blood disease that is cancer of the plasma cells. Richter has undergone 10 radiation sessions and recent bone and stem cell transplants. Jason is now in remission but is still undergoing chemotherapy treatments.
Richter’s love for baseball was the inspiration behind the theme for this year, Field of Dreams.
“The dance went very well this year,” said Abbie Zuzek, the leader and head of the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance Committee this year. “I was very blessed with such a hard working committee that made the planning process for both the dance and the auction go smoothly.” The other part of the dance, the annual silent auction also helped raise money for the Richter family.
Chair of the silent auction, Hannah Friedrich said, “The silent auc- tion was a success! We had so many great items and so many people from the community came to bid on the items.”
The dance and silent auction combined this year raised more than $14,000. All the proceeds will help the Richter family with medical and travel expenses that have amounted due to treatment. “Jason was very deserving of the love and support that was shown to him that weekend, and it makes me proud to be a part of such a strong community like SMU, when I can see that support in action,” said Zuzek.
The Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance began in 2001 in honor of Tate Rich- mond, the son of SMU staff member Nikki Richmond, who passed away last October.
Zuzek said, “It was amazing to see all of the support that came from all around. The support was for both Nikki and Tate, as well as for Jason. All three of them have made huge differences and are so loved among this com- munity at Saint Mary’s.”