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Fundraiser completes 9th year

Laura McCrystal | Friday, October 30, 2009

Today marks the end of the ninth annual breast cancer awareness fundraiser, “Race to Raise the Most,” which is sponsored by the College of Arts and Letters during the month of October.

“Over the past eight years we’ve made over $52,000 and it’s really a community outreach,” Mo Marnocha, office manager of the Arts and Letters Dean’s Office, said. “This was the biggest year ever.”

United Health Services uses the money raised to fund mammograms for people in St. Joseph County who cannot afford them, Marnocha said.

“We know that our money stays right in the community,” she said. “We know it’s done nationally but we wanted to keep the funds here locally.”

Marnocha said she had the idea to begin a fundraiser in 2000 when she saw an advertisement in a magazine that promoted breast cancer awareness month and thought that a fundraiser would unite the staff of the College.

The first year, the College hosted a day when the staff could wear jeans to work if they donated five dollars to breast cancer awareness. Marnocha said they raised $1,200.  

“Over the years we’ve fundraised and gotten more money,” she said. “It’s a win-win. It’s a win for the community, and a win for the staff.”

The College breaks the staff into fundraising teams based on the buildings in which they work, and they compete to raise the most money and develop creative fundraising ideas, Marnocha said. Each department of the College also participates.

“One of the things I saw this year more than ever before was camaraderie between the staff that made up the teams,” she said.

The funds raised this month have not yet been totaled, Marnocha said, in part because the teams keep their totals secret until the competition is over.

As incentive for fundraising this year, the College sold note cards with scenes of campus, travel mugs and other items, she said.

They also offered pink hair extensions, which became popular among students.

“I would like for the students to become more involved,” Marnocha said. “I would really like next year to have students made more aware of what we’re doing.”

The College also opened a blog Web site this year to feature fundraising opportunities and updates.

The Web site advertises photos of pink potholders, earrings, scarves and baked goods that were on sale as part of the fundraiser.

Before the Boston College football game, the College of Arts and Letters hosted a tailgate as part of the fundraiser, which Marnocha said attracted a large turnout. Fundraising at the tailgate included ice cream sundaes, tickets for gift baskets and pink manicures and face painting.

This week the Arts and Letters Dean’s Office received a donation of 200 sandwiches from Jimmy John’s, which they sold for two dollars as part of the fundraiser, Marnocha said.

Although the fundraising comes to an official close at the end of October, Marnocha said she hopes the staff will not stop planning and executing fundraising efforts as “Race to Raise the Most” continues to grow.