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SMC hosts Oktoberfest breast cancer fundraiser

Kathleen Quinlan | Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Oktoberfest run and walk, a breast cancer research fundraiser hosted by Saint Mary’s, drew over 200 participants Monday afternoon.

Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame and Holy Cross students, as well as faculty and members of the South Bend community, either walked three kilometers or ran five kilometers on Saint Mary’s campus.

One noticeable group was the Student Nurses Association. Sporting creative shirts, the 27 nursing students raised $137.

“As nurses, we deal with patients with cancer, and we want to do whatever we can to make things better,” senior member Meredith Casey said.

Many Saint Mary’s athletic teams participated in the run, including the basketball, softball and soccer teams.

“It’s an easy way to raise money for a good cause,” first year softball player Calli Davison said.

Committee member Alicen Miller was excited about the turnout.

“The music and the atmosphere make people want to just come and check it out,” Miller said.

Since the first race eight years ago, Oktoberfest has been successful, especially within the last five years. In 2004, the event raised $3,000, doubling the previous year’s total.

Lead organizer and varsity softball coach Erin Sullivan contributes the success to the planning committee.

“The students on the committee have given countless hours to promote the event all over South Bend and gather prizes to be raffled off after the race,” Sullivan said.

Miller said the planning committee was hard at work, even up until the actual race day, meeting two hours before the event began.

A large portion of the planning process was getting the word out, Miller said.

“We sent letters out to churches,” Miller said. “We made flyers to hang up around campus. We went door-to-door in my dorm to encourage people to sign up with me or later. We put up table tents on the tables in the dining hall. I made a giant sign to hang in Angela [Athletic Facility].”

But the publicity did not end there.

“We’ve advertised for it on U93 [a local radio station], local news stations, ND’s campus, ECDC and the local churches,” Sullivan said.

Sullivan credited local breast cancer survivor Kim Zobrosky for helping with the advertising.

“Kim is our inspiration at every meeting, and when the students see what an amazing person she is and what she has overcome, I think it motivates them to help make this our best Oktoberfest ever,” Sullivan said.

The top 20 runners and walkers each received a free T-shirt. However, prizes were not only bestowed on the winners.

After the race, a raffle was conducted to raise even more money for the charity. Pizza from Marco’s, sundaes from Ritters, hotel rooms, bowling passes, Starbucks coffee and a Swarovski crystal ornament from Gogi’s Jewelry were all raffled off.

Each participant was asked to donate at least $5 to the charity. All money raised will then be given to the research foundation, as well as to breast cancer survivor organizations.