Published in: The Globe
Originally published: October 13, 2010
By Kalea Hall
The informational walk to raise awareness about breast cancer was created by Dr. Darlene Marnich for a very special reason.
"Given that in March of 2009, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, this one was kind of near and dear to my heart," Marnich said, professor and chair of the education department and creator of the fundrasier.
Next week, three sections of University Experience education students will join Marnich in bringing the pink to Point Park in celebration of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
From Monday, Oct. 18 to Thursday, Oct. 21 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., the classes will be selling pink t-shirts, keychains, wristbands, car magnets, rubber duckies, tote bags and raffle tickets for prize baskets outside the Point Cafe the Academic Hall lobby. Then, on Wednesday, Oct. 20, the classes will be hosting an informal breast cancer walk at 1 p.m. beginning in Alumni Park, and will go along Smithfield Street bridge and ending in Station Square.
"It is an informal walk to help raise awareness about breast cancer, we hope it's also an informational walk that day," Marnich said.
Marnich created the fundraiser for the community service project that her University Experience students, as well as her colleagues' students, participate in every year.
"There's a million great causes, this isn't the only great cause that's out there, but I think everybody has to find the one that they want to put the most energy into," Marnich said.
She believes that this project will benefit the education majors in their future careers, since it shows them the "planning and preparation" that comes with being a teacher.
"With [University Experience] you really try to get them involved in some type of community service project and as education majors you really do work with kids organizing these kinds of things," Marnich said.
Tonya Boyer, a freshman secondary education citizenship/special education major, thinks the project is a great idea and a "great way to make people more aware of how serious" breast cancer is.
"It's a lesson for the education majors that sometimes a little creativity and a lot of hard work really make the difference," Boyer said in an e-mail interview.
Ken Mori, adjunct faculty member at Point Park, teaches the other section of University Experience and believes the project is "very worthwhile" for the students.
"It's very effective because students, themselves, are going into businesses throughout the community, asking for any kind of donation," Mori said. "We will raffle and make some money which will be given to a family in Grove City."
All funds raised by the classes will be given to Chris Eisler, a woman battling breast cancer, and the family of Teresa Breeze, a woman who lost her battle to cancer.
The classes will not only be raising funds for these women, but they will be making people more aware of the disease with posters that will be strung across Smithfield Bridge and placed around Point Park's campus.
One poster reads, "There's no way to prevent breast cancer; the only treatment is early detection."
"I'm pretty excited about the walk," Boyer said. "It'll be neat to see all the posters we made with breast cancer facts hanging on the Smithfield Street Bridge during the walk. Hopefully everyone who is walking will get the chance to take a look at all the facts and really take in some new information about breast cancer."
The main point Marnich hopes to get across with the walk is how important early detection is. She said it is something, "you can't put off."
"Women too often let everything come before them and their mammograms tends to get pushed to the bottom of the list," Marnich said.
With this being the first year for the walk, Marnich is unsure about how the walk and fundraiser will turn out, but hopes everything will go as planned and the funds will be raised, along with awareness.
"You don't have to pay or sign up in advance, just show up in support," Marnich said.