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Monday, November 6, 2006

ZTA ‘Painted UNCP Pink’ Oct. 18 for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

By Joel Beachum

Team spirit is what UNC Pembroke’s Zeta Tau Alpha  (ZTA) is all about in the 2006 fall semester. The sorority sparked interest on and off campus for its “Paint the Town Pink” event on October 18.

ZTA’s Danielle Williams stands alongside cancer survivors, Diane Sudderth (17 years), Patsy Davis (20 years) and ZTA member Stacey Bartlett.

ZTA’s Danielle Williams stands alongside cancer survivors, Diane Sudderth (17 years), Patsy Davis (20 years) and ZTA member Stacey Bartlett.

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ZTA planned the event to raise awareness during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. With help from UNCP’s Athletic Department, the sorority sold pink t-shirts that were worn at the women’s soccer game on October 18.

“October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so we thought it would be a great time to organize one huge event,” said ZTA Vice President Chelsea Prior. “As a public relations major at UNCP, I thought we needed to make a big effort in fundraising to raise awareness about breast cancer and to promote ZTA’s work.”

In addition to t-shirt sales, ZTA received support from Lumberton, N.C., restaurants Outback Steakhouse and the Black Water Grille, as well as other supporters from the Pembroke and surrounding communities. Gift certificate raffles were held at the game, and the sorority will continue to accept donations through October.
           
There will be approximately “212,920 new cases of breast cancer in women, and 1,720 in men, in the U.S. in 2006,” according to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

“I estimate that we raised four thousand dollars, and more than $6,500 since we started last March,” said Prior. “All of the money raised from the t-shirt sales, raffle tickets and donations is going directly to the Komen Foundation.”

ZTA began selling the trademark pink t-shirts prior to the game and were highly successful.

“We started selling pink shirts about two weeks ago and exceeded all expectations,” Prior said. “So far, the total number of shirts sold is over 500.”

ZTA fundraising coordinator Audrey Casciere thanked the UNCP community for its support of a good cause.

“This event was in support of an extremely important cause since so many people are affected by breast cancer every day,” Casciere said. “We had a good turnout due to the number of shirts we sold thus far to supporters on and off campus.”

Amanda Parker, Heidi Jo Forte and Chelsea Prior from Zeta Tau Alpha at UNCP collect money for Paint the Town Pink t-shirt sells.

Amanda Parker, Heidi Jo Forte and Chelsea Prior from Zeta Tau Alpha at UNCP collect money for Paint the Town Pink t-shirt sells.

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“Raising the money for breast cancer awareness is rewarding, but to get to see the survivors and the people affected by breast cancer during halftime was exciting,” said ZTA member Tasia Bobbitt.

Women’s soccer team members wore pink armbands during the contest. Brochures and pamphlets, describing further ways to assist in the fight against breast cancer, were distributed at the game.

“This has been our biggest fundraiser yet, and hopefully, it will continue to be this big in future years because it is a good cause,” said ZTA member and Lady Braves’ senior midfielder Valerie Buchite. “To see this University and our community work together is awesome. We are letting those inflicted with this disease and their families know that there is hope, and that we haven't forgotten about them.”

She credited her ZTA sisters, who coordinated the event during the women’s soccer game.

“We worked day and night to make this fundraiser run smoothly,” Buchite said. “Denise Busbin and Jennifer Berenics did a great job reaching out to the community hospitals and recruiting people to attend the game.”

To support ZTA’s fundraiser, donors may contact ZTA at cap006@uncp.edu. To learn more about the sorority and its work, please visit their website at www.zetataualpha.org/.

Joel Beachum is a Laurinburg, N.C., native and UNCP student majoring in education.

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