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July 14, 2010

La Salle Alum Marci Schankweiler Honored
at MLB’s All Star Game

Schankweiler chosen as one of 30 “All-Stars Among Us” by Major League Baseball (MLB) in conjunction with People magazine.

Roy Halladay, Ryan Howard, and Charlie Manuel were not the only ones representing the Philadelphia Phillies during Major League Baseball’s (MLB) All-Star Game. Marci (Kuttler) Bossow Schankweiler, a 1990 La Salle University graduate, was honored at the All-Star Game in Anaheim, Cal. as the Phillies representative of the “All-Stars Among Us” campaign.

The “All-Stars Among Us” campaign, sponsored by MLB and People magazine, recognizes individuals who are serving their communities in extraordinary ways.
After more than 1.7 million votes (including many from La Salle alumni) were cast in a nationwide contest, Schankweiler was selected as the Philadelphia Phillies “All-Star” representative.  She was chosen for her community service through Crossing the Finish Line, an organization that sends young adult cancer patients and their families on all-expenses paid respite vacations.

Schankweiler founded Crossing the Finish Line in memory of her late husband Pete Bossow, also a 1990 La Salle graduate. Bossow was only 29 when he was diagnosed with a rare form of testicular cancer. During Pete’s year-long battle with cancer including surgeries and chemotherapy, he suggested a vacation in the Caribbean to get away from it all. “He said, ‘What do we have to lose? Let’s go’ He loved to sail and his uncle had a sailing boat in the Caribbean… There were no phones. No television, nothing. It was being together, laughing, loving and that’s all it was,” said Schankweiler in a recent interview.

“We came to the realization on our trip that while cancer can destroy you physically, it can never destroy the love you have for each other,” Schwankweiler told the Philadelphia Daily News. “And that is something you carry with you.”

Soon after their trip to the Caribbean, Bossow suggested starting a nonprofit organization that would provide young cancer patients like him “a last hurrah.” He came up with the name Crossing the Finish Line and Schankweiler developed the plan to get it running. When Bossow died seven months later, Schankweiler left her job as a tax attorney to make the dream of Crossing the Finish Line a reality.

In nearly 10 years since his death, Bossow’s legacy lives on through Crossing the Finish Line. The organization has benefited more than 800 cancer patients and 3,000 caregivers. Patients and their families credit Schankweiler for giving them renewed energy as they battle cancer.

As she stood on the field wearing her Phillies jersey alongside the best players in baseball, a video of Schankweiler’s story, including an introduction by actress Julia Roberts, was presented at the All Star pre-game ceremony along with the other 29 “All-Stars Among Us” honorees, representing each MLB team.

“I am so excited to be chosen as this year's Phillies People All-Star, and I wear the Phillies jersey with pride,” said Schankweiler.  “It is an honor and a privilege to be selected, as well as it has been an honor and a privilege to help those whose lives have been affected by cancer. My late husband would have been so proud, and I hope to continue the dream of making Crossing the Finish Line available nationwide.”

For more information about Crossing the Finish Line, visit crossingthefinishline.org

To see the philly.com story, click here.

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