Published in: The Globe
Originally Published: February 15, 2011
By Kalea Hall
To Natasha Young, the fundraiser put together by her University Experience class last October exceeded her expectations in raising breast cancer awareness.
As a future teacher, Sarah McDonough believes the fundraiser was preparation for her career.
The fundraiser's creator, Dr. Darlene Marnich, is eager to hold it again next year.
After selling a plethora of breast cancer awareness items and raffle tickets for gift baskets during October, the education section of the University Experience classes raised a total of $400 to split between two women still battling cancer and give to the family of a woman who lost her battle. With 75 attendees, the students also led a walk across the Smithfield St. Bridge, where breast cancer awareness posters had been strung along the railings for all to see.
"The walk was just awesome. It reminded me of everyone I had with me on my own personal journey, so that was just amazing," said Marnich, professor and chair of the education department, in an interview in her office last week.
A breast cancer survivor, Marnich wanted to hold the fundraiser to raise awareness. The University Experience class must complete a volunteer activity each semester, so she decided, with the help of her colleagues, to give this one a shot.
"I don't think it's ever too early to start being aware of breast cancer because it affects one out of eight women in the U.S., and at some point along the way, they will be affected by it," Marnich said.
Young, a freshman secondary education major, said the fundraiser exceeded her expectations because several more items were sold than she thought would be.
"More people were into it and willing to help than I had expected," Young said during an interview in the Point Cafe. "A lot more students were really enthusiastic when it came to the walk and everyone really enjoyed themselves."
Young agreed with McDonough, a freshman elementary education major, that the planning and preparation, as well the fundraiser itself, will help her and her classmates when they become educators.
"Actually conducting a series of what to do in order to follow through an event or fundraiser, it was really helpful to know how to do something like that, and especially because we are all going to be teachers," McDonough said in an interview in the Point Cafe.
While reflecting on the walk, Marnich expressed how proud she was of her students and said "they did a nice job to let other people know facts" about breast cancer. Marnich thought her students were also proud of themselves and their accomplishments in setting up the events, and then raising funds and awareness.
"One of the things that I am hoping that they got out of this was when you have an idea, that you hope is a good one, but aren't sure the first time through, that you are not afraid to try it," Marnich said. "To take the idea, start working it, making it a reality, and then following it through until the end. And as teachers, they are going to be faced with that on a regular basis."
Once the fundraiser was over, Marnich said she was "lucky" to have the opportunity to deliver the donations to each family. Chris Eisler, Laurel Doody and the family of Teresa Breeze, all from Grove City, Pa., were each donation recipients.
Eisler was "very appreciative" of her donation, according to Marnich. Eisler expressed that it was a great feeling to "know that people are out there doing good."
"I was very touched," Eisler said in a phone interview. "It was very helpful to me."
Doody was also grateful for the donation she received. In a letter to the students and Marnich she wrote, "Thank you, also, for raising awareness. No woman, man or child should go through this alone."
Marnich revealed that each time she delivered a donation, she knew that she, her colleagues and her students "had done the right thing" in holding the fundraiser. She emphasized that she was "99.9 percent positive" that the fundraiser would be held again next year.
"It isn't just how much money you raise, but that you are raising awareness," Marnich said. "When you see women who are truly going through it, it is just really nice to bring a smile to their face[s] for the day."
Breast Cancer walk 'exceeds expectations'
Breast Cancer walk 'exceeds expectations'