Local organizations join forces for breast cancer awareness

During the week of Oct. 24 to 30, the University of Illinois will look “pretty in pink” as Shi-ai and Mills Breast Cancer Institute team up to raise money and awareness for Breast Cancer.

The week’s events will include the sale of $7 fitness passes, coupon giveaways and bracelets at the Activities and Recreation Center, or ARC, and outside Chi Omega.

The passes are valid for the entire week and allow access to special Pink Week fitness classes generated specifically for Pink Week, as well as classes available with the general fitness pass.

Mills Breast Cancer Institute has provided prizes for students who wear pink to the ARC or other campus workout centers including Campus Recreation Center-East, CRCE. The goal is to involve as many people as possible because of the prevalence of cancer among all groups.

“Even if you don’t realize it, you’re somehow linked to someone who has been affected by (cancer),” said Allison Canty, sophomore in LAS and President of Shi-ai.

Men are also encouraged to get involved. Even though males may not be the most common demographic to experience breast cancer, they still encounter its effects.

“Hopefully men will get involved as well…breast cancer and cancer in general affects everybody, so we thought maybe this is a way (men) will want to donate money to the cause,” Erik Riha, Lead Assistant Director of Marketing for Campus Recreation, said.

This will be the first year that Shi-ai and Campus Recreation put on Pink Week. Though much of its service involves this year’s official philanthropy, the Champaign Community Humane Society, Shi-ai strives to make a local impact in multiple organizations.

Each sorority represented in Shi-ai has its own national philanthropy, but it is important to get a group of girls to make a difference in the Champaign-Urbana community, said Marta Hitchcock, senior in AHS, advisor of Shi-ai and vice president of service for Panhellenic Council.

For Campus Recreation, Pink Week’s local tie was also an important factor that persuaded them to help facilitate the event.

“That was really the key to our acceptance of the project — that it was student driven, because that always helps us want to jump on board,” Riha said.

As far as Campus Recreation and Shi-ai are concerned, all of the planning and time required to make Pink Week a success will be well worth it.

“It’s really an amazing cause; it’s local and ultimately affects people nationally and around the world…I’m really excited about it,” Hitchcock said.