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Belles gather donations for cancer research

Claire Creely | Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Saint Mary’s chapter of Stand Up to Cancer will sponsor the second-annual Zumbathon from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. this Friday in the Angela Athletic Center with the local Party in Pink organization to raise money for cancer research and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Senior Devon Graham, who organized the event, said Stand Up to Cancer ensures that all funds raised go directly to cancer research.

“Stand Up to Cancer is different from other organizations that raise money for cancer because 100 percent of anything you donate goes to cancer research,” Graham said. “All donations go to ‘dream teams,’ or research teams, that research many different types of cancer, including the rarer forms.”

While student donations go to Stand Up to Cancer, donations from the general public are sent to the Susan G. Komen Foundation, Graham said.

“We’re working together in that way and both collaborating with each other,” she said.

Though the donations will be separated, Graham said the event is an opportunity to combine awareness for both organizations.

“It’s pretty awesome. It’s a really good way to raise awareness for both organizations. Susan G. Komen is obviously a very well-known one. Stand Up to Cancer … it is getting much greater now in the public,” Graham said. “We’re all really looking forward to it. It worked in October for breast cancer awareness so we’re really excited for it.”

About 200 people attended last year’s Party in Pink event, and Graham said she expects an increase in attendance this year for the Zumbathon.

Graham said local Zumba instructors will lead the event, and the space will be decked out for a dance party.

“It should be a really good time,” Graham said. “They’re bringing in a DJ. They’re going to turn it kind of into a club with lights.”

Besides Zumba, guests can expect to learn new moves from Polynesian dancers, belly dancers, hip hop dancers and even one woman who created her own type of dance.

“There will be a lot of variety, and the bleachers will be down so people can sit or walk and see the vendors,” Graham said.

In addition to the dancing, vendors will be selling pink glow stick bracelets for Stand Up to Cancer and Zumba clothing. Attendees can also try samples from Avon and eat free food.

The general public is very excited for the event, Graham said, and students should prepare to match their enthusiasm by being loud and wearing pink clothing.

“Apparently, these people really get into it,” she said. “You’ll see 70-year-olds out there shaking it to Zumba … They get the loudest. They get the most into it.”

The event will offer students the opportunity to interact with the public and work together toward a common goal, Graham said. Many Saint Mary’s alumnae are expected to attend the event as well, including some who will travel from Chicago.

“Everyone looks silly, except for the instructors. You just have to have fun with it,” Graham said. “You’re not there to look a certain way … you’re just there to be lively with everyone else.”

If one night of Zumba is not enough to satisfy your desire to dance, Graham said Stand Up to Cancer hosts several Zumba events throughout the year, as well as a prom dance in the spring for cancer patients and survivors.

Tickets for this Friday’s Zumbathon are $5 in advance and $10 at the doo, and will be sold in the Saint Mary’s Student Center during lunch and dinner this week. Notre Dame students may email Graham at dgraha01@saintmarys.edu to reserve tickets and pick them up at the door. Ticketholders must also bring their student ID to the event.