This month, more than 1,200 bicyclists rode 180 miles in three days for American Lung Association’s 35th annual Trek Across Maine event.
Trek Across Maine helps support the mission of saving lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease.
Out of about 10 Trek Across Maine employees, six are Thomas College alumni or current students: Lindsey Allen ‘17 M.B.A. ‘18, Kim Chamard ‘08, Ali Kriegel ‘11 M.B.A. ‘12, Krysta Porter ‘19, Emily Pratt ‘22, and Chrystal Toner ‘02.
These women are committed to this important cause – and love being able to interact with their Thomas family while working this important event.
“During my first interview I was surprised to see two of my coworkers had graduated from Thomas. Then, all three of the summer temps with us now come from Thomas,” said Lindsey Allen. “What’s funny to me is that I thought I was the only one from Thomas who would work for the American Lung Association. I had no idea it was such a ‘thing!’ I love it.”
Lindsey is a full-time Development Coordinator for the American Lung Association. Her job consists of ordering merchandise, supplies, and awards for events, tracking the budget and processing invoices, recruitment of trekkers and volunteers, and supporting the Development Managers with their various logistical tasks.
Ahead of the Trek, her first, Lindsey was excited for it unfold.
“Just knowing what this event means to people, and the passion people have to carry out the mission of the American Lung Association, makes all the work so worth it. I’m excited!”
At Thomas College, Lindsey studied management for her undergraduate degree and graduated from the Accelerated M.B.A. program a year afterwards. She said her time there helped prepare her for this job with Trek Across Maine.
“First of all, teamwork. Nobody is a fan of group projects in school, but since my job is quite literally working with a team every single day, I still feel prepared for it because of all the teams I was on at Thomas,” said Lindsey. “Second, being on the Student Philanthropy Team opened my eyes to the power of networking and gift-giving. Raising money is obviously a huge component of the Trek Across Maine, but as with the SPT and Thomas’s Advancement office, it’s so much more than just the dollars that come in; it’s building a community, a support system, and moving the mission forward.
Ali Kriegel, who is Thomas College’s head softball coach and assistant field hockey coach, spends her summer working part-time as an administrative assistant for the Trek Across Maine. She assists with the operations side of the Trek – data entry, customer service, participant registration and fundraising.
This year’s Trek was Ali’s eleventh year working or volunteering.
“Seeing the year-round hard work of the entire staff, the fundraising efforts of the trekkers, and the amazing volunteers all come together is an incredible feeling,” said Ali. “Watching the trekkers cross the finish line after 180 meaningful miles is hard to put into words.”
Ali also completed her bachelor’s degree and completed the Accelerated M.B.A. program at Thomas.
“My time at Thomas has meant so much to me, I’m still there!” said Ali. “The people are what makes Thomas such an amazing place. Thomas has given me so much: a great education, lifelong friends, an opportunity to play two NCAA D3 sports, and recently my career in coaching.”
Plus, Thomas has also given her a connection when working the Trek during the summers.
“Working with fellow Thomas grads and students is so much fun, we already have a lot in common by just coming from Thomas,” said Ali. “Our backgrounds are similar, and we understand what it means to work hard. We were all (or are) student athletes at Thomas, so the teamwork aspect of our job comes very easy for us!”
Krysta Porter recently graduated with her undergraduate degree in sport management in May. She is working for the Trek this summer and then returning to Thomas College in the fall for the Accelerated MBA program. She also works as the assistant softball coach at Mount View High School.
This is Krysta’s third summer working for the Trek Across Maine.
“I love working for the Trek just because it brings together so many different types of people from all over the country, that are all trying to promote lung health,” she said.
Krysta enjoys working with Thomas connected people at the Trek.
“I love working with other Thomas Alumni. Ali actually got me my job here, as she was my assistant Softball coach and they were looking for help and she suggested I apply,” said Krysta. “It’s pretty cool working with other Thomas people, we all had some of the same professors. And I love working with Emily, especially because she’s my teammate during Field Hockey season.”
Other Thomas connected staff are: alumni Chrystal Toner ‘02, Development Manager, and Kim Chamard ‘08, Development Manager and Volunteer Coordinator, both at the American Lung Association of the Northeast, and current student Emily Pratt ‘22, undecided major and lacrosse and field hockey player who worked the Trek Across Maine event this summer.