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Pink Zone to combat deadly disease

Madeline Buckley | Monday, December 8, 2008

At Sunday’s women’s basketball game against Purdue, the cheerleaders donned pink T-shirts, the Leprechaun wore a pink vest and 150 pink T-shirts were passed out to students.

The array of pink replacing the usual blue, gold and green was part of a project to publicize the Pink Zone game, an event to benefit breast cancer patients. The publicity for the event was put together by a management class at Notre Dame, said sophomore Nicole O’Connor, a member of the class and one of the project’s leaders.

“Our class’s job was to start promoting the Pink Zone game,” she said. “The class is a combination of working on the project and going through the text book.”

The Pink Zone is an event put on by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), O’Connor said. Each school involved designates a game to be the Pink Zone game, and they use that game to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research.

Notre Dame’s Pink Zone game will be against DePaul on Feb. 8. The game will be televised on ESPNU. A silent auction and other events will raise money for breast cancer research, she said.

The objective of the project was to use management skills taught in class to market the Pink Zone game, O’Connor said. The game was officially announced to fans at yesterday’s game through the efforts of the students in the class, she said.

“The class teaches the principles of management – planning, organizing, leading, controlling, evaluating,” she said. “So our class was divided into project teams according to those phases.”

The project leaders were given an outline of what was needed to publicize the event from Women’s Basketball office, and the students did the legwork to get the word out about the Pink Zone game, O’Connor said.

“We put up posters, sent out e-mails and tried to talk up the event in the dorms,” she said. “Each student [at the Purdue game] got a T-shirt and a McDonalds gift card, and at the end of the game we passed out save the date cards for Feb. 8.”

The class also invited Saint Joseph Medical Center, RiverBend Cancer center, LaPorte hospital and the Secret Sisters Society to set up tables at the game with information about breast cancer, O’Connor said.

“The game was sold out, so it was a pretty exciting opportunity to reach everyone,” she said.

O’Connor said her group was in charge of creating the pink T-shirts. Members of the class submitted design ideas, and they used a local t-shirt company to produce the shirts, she said. Students got free shirts, and the extras were thrown into the crowd.

The management class, taught by Chuck Lennon, Associate Vice President for University Relations, was approved by the Center for Social Concerns (CSC) as a service learning class, O’Connor said.

“It’s the only management class in the College of Business that was approved for this distinction,” she said.

Prof. Lennon presented the idea to the CSC because the class would use management principles to do a service project for the Pink Zone basketball game, O’Connor said.

“It was approved as a service project because it went beyond the usual requirements of teaching in the textbook,” she said. “[Lennon] thought it was a great opportunity to get us actual real life management experience.”

The posters used to advertise the event were funded by Women’s basketball and the funds for the T-shirts came from the Alumni Association, which is headed by Chuck Lennon, O’Connor said.

“I think this was a great opportunity because we were able to apply what we were learning in class to real life situations,” she said. “It showed us the full range of what management requires.”