With a month to go until a fundraising walk for breast cancer research in Central Park, members of the Fordham softball team encountered a pleasant problem: They already had raised $3,000 in support of the event. They had met their goal.
So, they doubled it.
Now the team hopes to raise $6,000, and members are optimistic that the surge of financial support will continue.
“People have been really responsive to it so far,” said Assistant Coach Emily Friedman, one of about two dozen players, coaches and friends of the team participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk on Oct. 19.
The event, organized every year by the American Cancer Society, is drawing an energetic response from Fordham students. A subcommittee of United Student Government (USG) is also organizing students to take part in the walk, and is planning fundraising events.
Fighting breast cancer strikes a chord, said Caroline Sliney, a Fordham College at Rose Hill senior who co-chairs the committee.
“It’s something we found many students are very passionate about,” she said.
It’s also something that fits with Fordham’s Jesuit mission of community service, Friedman said.
The softball team looks for a community service project every year. Team members walked in the event last year to show support for the cause, but started preparing for it earlier this year, in August, so they would have time to raise money as well, said Sarah Campbell, a senior at the Rose Hill campus and team captain for the breast cancer walk.
All their fundraising has been online. The $3,000 came from seven team members who used e-mail, along with individualized fundraising pages on the Making Strides website, to seek donations from family and friends.
Another surge in funds should come when the remaining 15 members get their online fundraising up and running, she said. The Internet has played a key role by allowing students to raise donations from family and friends who may be a few states away, she said.
“A lot of our players are from different states,” she said.
Meanwhile, the USG subcommittee has launched an educational and fundraising campaign in support of the walk. Students are selling tee shirts, holding bake sales and beginning a letter-writing campaign to raise money.
A Concert for the Cure, featuring student bands, will raise funds on Oct. 7. The students are planning fundraising events with Sodexho, operator of the campus cafeteria, as well as a restaurant near the Rose Hill campus, Sliney said.
The students have raised $1,000 so far and hope to raise $9,000 more.
“We’re very optimistic for reaching our goal,” she said. “We really kind of kicked off the semester with a solid plan of what we wanted to do and what we wanted to achieve.”
Making Strides is taking place in hundreds of cities nationwide during October. The money raised will support various efforts such as research into new treatments, education about prevention, programs and services for people battling the disease, and advocacy for public policies that provide mammograms and breast cancer treatment for all women, regardless of income.
Campbell said she hopes the softball team’s participation continues every year.
“As a senior, I hope the younger kids on the team continue to sign up for this and really make a difference,” she said. “It’s something that, as young women, we should be aware of and should get involved in.”