October 08, 2018

SIU seeing pink in October to increase breast cancer awareness and raise scholarship funds

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Throughout the month of October, the color pink joins the maroon, black and grey school colors in the campus spotlight as Southern Illinois University Carbondale observes Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

SIU’s Start Seeing Pink incorporates several events and also serves as a fundraiser for scholarships awarded to students whose lives have been touched by breast cancer.

Wearing pink

For weeks, people across campus have been purchasing “Start Seeing Pink” apparel and throughout the month, they can share why they wear pink on special interactive boards at the Student Center, Student Health Center and Morris Library.

Jonathan Coates, a Herrin Boy Scout, has also been quite busy, creating hundreds of pink paracord bracelets for SIU’s campaign. It’s his Eagle Scout project and he, with help from family and friends, has spent months making the bracelets, available for $5 each at various locations.

Proceeds go to the pink campaign. First responder agencies from around the region have also jumped on the bandwagon, purchasing and wearing the bracelets with their uniforms this month.

Join the human pink ribbon

One and all are invited to don their pink attire and come to the Morris Library lawn at 11:50 a.m. on Oct. 24 to form a giant human pink ribbon. The ribbon will be photographed. The event itself will run from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features snow cones and more.

Other activities planned

Several other special activities are planned throughout the month including:

  • Zumba for Hope – 7 p.m. Oct. 25 at the Student Recreation Center.
  • Trivia Night – 7-9 p.m. on Oct. 26 at the Student Center Ballrooms. In addition to trivia, there will be a silent auction and a table decorating contest with cash bar and appetizers available. Olympian Deanna Price, who earned dual degrees in accounting and management in 2016 while a Saluki track and field star, will be the host and special guest. Price placed eighth in the hammer throw at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. The winning trivia team will earn a $250 prize.

You can dine to donate

A variety of restaurants are lending their support by donating a percentage of their sales to Start Seeing Pink on designated dates this month. Check the schedule for “Dine to Donate: Support (and Eat) Like a Saluki” online.

There’s also an ongoing Saluki Funder Campaign through the SIU Foundation and the goal is to raise $5,000. Ultimately, organizers hope to raise enough money to endow the scholarship fund so it becomes self-sustaining.

In 2017, the various Start Seeing Pink activities and promotions were quite a success, raising awareness and bringing in more than $7,000 for scholarships.

Numerous students have already benefitted

SIU’s Start Seeing Pink launched in 2014 and by the next year, two scholarships were awarded to SIU students whose lives have been touched in some way by breast cancer.

Whether they’ve fought the disease themselves or seen a wife, mother or another loved one battle cancer, their lives have been impacted and the scholarships help alleviate financial strain. At this time, a total of 11 scholarships have been awarded.

For more information about Start Seeing Pink, visit the website or contact Jordee Justice at jordeejustice@siu.edu or 618/453-4078.