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SMC students fundraise for cystic fibrosis research

Jillian Barwick | Tuesday, April 17, 2012

For five senior marketing majors at Saint Mary’s, picking a charity for a marketing management class project was one of the easier tasks they have taken on this semester.

As part of the class, students must create a fundraising event for a charity of their choice. One group, composed of seniors Antonia Infante, Ashley Ward, Debbie Neal, Liz Leeuw and Jessica Vravis, chose the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, because the members have multiple connections with the disease.

“My 18-year-old sister has cystic fibrosis (CF),” Leeuw said. “This is one of the reasons why we chose to raise money for CF and all of the families it affects.”

Ward said the group chose to sell tickets to the South Bend Silver Hawks game scheduled for April 20 to target the South Bend community, especially children.

“I remember when I was younger and our school would have a night where all the kids and families would come to ‘The Cove,’ or Coveleski Stadium, where the Silver Hawks play,” she said. “It was always a really fun time for everyone involved.”

Ward said she babysits for a local two-year-old child with cystic fibrosis, and the boy’s grandfather purchased 50 tickets for his business.

The group has sold more than 100 tickets in total, Infante said, and if they sell 100 more, a guest of their choosing may throw the first pitch at the game.

Vravis said the Silver Hawks made organizing the fundraiser fairly simple.

“When we were deciding on what type of event we wanted to hold, we realized that having a fundraiser for a current event would be the best route to take,” she said. “The Silver Hawks already participate in charity events, so this outlet was perfect for our cause.”

Neal said the group created a Facebook page for their fundraiser and hung posters and flyers around campus. They also sold tickets in the Student Center, she said.

“We have also advertised for our event at Urban Swirl in Granger, [Ind.], and we were selling tickets at Sam’s Club all weekend,” Leeuw said. “In addition to these advertisements, we have been handing out little bells for people to personalize that have a message about CF on them.”

Ward said raising awareness of cystic fibrosis is important to the group, because it is not a well-known disease or a cause to which people often donate.

“Research has come so far over the years, and it is all due to donations and people wanting to help,” she said.

Ninety cents of every dollar raised for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation support research, Leeuw said.

“We really want CF to get the awareness is deserves,” Leeuw said. “Let’s make CF stand for ‘Cure Found.'”

Tickets are available to students, faculty and the greater community and cost $6 each. Donations are also accepted. Ticket orders can be sent to Leeuw at lleeuw01@saintmarys.edu by Wednesday at 5 p.m.