October 23, 2009

“Breastival” brings cancer awareness to campus

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U of C Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) launched “Breastival,” a series of games and fundraising events this week, aimed at advocating breast cancer awareness and education during the National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

With the theme, “Save Second Base!” RSO members have tabled every day this week, selling cupcakes and T-shirts sporting the slogan and decorating the quad’s trees with pink ribbons. Breastival events provide opportunities for members to have fun while garnering attention, interest, and support for the one-year-old RSO.

CAC president and third-year Kelly Regan said the group’s upbeat attitude is a “marketing strategy for college-age students.”

“Since one out of five women will have breast cancer,” she said, “this is a big deal, so the goal is to really capture awareness.” Regan added that the RSO is seeking to “inspire hope and bring people together to create change.”

Breastival began on Monday with a “Booze for Boobs” night at the Pub and continued with a Game Day on the quads Tuesday afternoon. Participants earned cupcakes by playing carnival games creatively named after the cause, like “Hits for Tits” and “Scooters for Hooters”. Other booths included breast cancer education trivia and bake sales.

CAC hosted a story-sharing session in McCormick Lounge Wednesday evening to celebrate community survivorship and foster a more intimate atmosphere, Regan said.

“The other events we do are often fundraisers and sales, but this is a way for us to do something on a personal level,” Regan said.

Attendees shared personal experiences and stories through an open mic and interacted with the Hyde Park community with a card-making table for patients at Rush’s Pediatric Oncology Ward.

Breastival’s last event will be held on Friday afternoon at Bartlett Quads, where those who call a friend or relative to remind them to schedule a mammogram will get a treat.

CAC members hope to make Breastival a campus tradition every October. Affiliated with the American Cancer Society, Colleges Against Cancer is a national organization with chapters on college campuses nationwide.