Villanova Rowing Runs in CHOP 5K to Fight Cancer


Courtesy of Olivia Krause

The Villanova Rowing team poses at the Rocky Steps.

Julia O'Keefe, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Sept. 25, members of Villanova Rowing participated in the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Benjamin Franklin Parkway Run and Walk to fight cancer. 


Thirteen members of Villanova Rowing and all of their coaches participated in the run to honor JJ Jones and his family, their former assistant coach whose son is currently battling leukemia. Women’s Rowing co-captain Olivia Krause spoke about why she and her teammates decided to participate:


“We wanted to support him and his family,” Krause said. “He was a highly impactful coach at Villanova and left coaching to spend more time with his family. We wanted to honor his impact on our team and show our support.” 


Presented by Citadel Credit Union, the Parkway Run and Walk is a 5K run and 2K walk that raises funds for pediatric cancer research and care at CHOP. With a $35 registration fee and thousands of participants, Villanova Rowing members among them, the run raised more than $2 million for CHOP’s Cancer Center according to their website and was marked an incredible success. 


Runners lined up at the starting line at 8:30 a.m. right in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art upon the conclusion of the opening ceremony and ended in that same spot. This year’s Parkway Run was the first in-person event since 2020, and Krause expressed it was empowering to be running among thousands of people again, especially for such a good cause. 


“There were over 10,000 participants at the race and it felt both inspiring and exciting to be surrounded by so many people for such an important cause,” Krause said. “It also put things into perspective for our team and reminded us that there are so many people outside of our small Villanova community.” 


Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States past infancy. It doesn’t stop, and neither will the fight against it. More funding is needed to understand and conquer this disease right here in Philadelphia and everywhere around the world. Villanova Rowing contributed to the $2 million and change raised last weeked and was united around honoring a former assistant coach and his family. 


Villanovans are privileged to have access to an organization right on campus rooted in fighting childhood cancer. NOVAdance partners with the Andrew McDonough B+ Foundation to raise funds for childhood cancer research and provide financial assistance to families. The year-long fundraising effort concludes with a 12-hour dance marathon in the spring when the whole Villanova community comes together to support the cause. For those looking to learn more about the organization and get involved in the fight, one can sign up and start a personal donation page or join a team on the NOVAdance website:


For more information about CHOP’s Parkway Run and Walk and how to get involved in future events right near Villanova, visit One can make a donation to fund CHOP’s research at any time through its website and sign up to receive communication regarding upcoming fundraising events.