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Cash combats cancer: What becomes of Breast Cancer Awareness Week donations

Matthew Mapa, Staff Writer

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   Each October, students participate in Breast Cancer Awareness Week, a tradition started in 2000 to support the late Karyn Shellhase, a former Physical Education coach who was afflicted with the disease. With an entire week dedicated to fundraising, Breast Cancer Awareness Week raises a substantial amount of money each year. Just last year, a total of $1,300 was raised for the cause. However, not many people know that this money goes to a non-profit organization called Libby’s Legacy.

   It’s important to see the bigger picture of breast cancer awareness. Easton Place is the sophomore president of student council, the group that organizes Breast Cancer Awareness Week each year. When it comes to the importance of breast cancer awareness, he looks at the facts.

   “I believe that breast cancer research is important due to the fact that 41,000 people die each year from breast cancer,” Place said.

   Student Council Adviser Kyle McGimsey thinks that breast cancer awareness is important because it affects so many people.

   “I think it’s pretty common for most people to know, be associated with, [or] be connected in some way with someone with breast cancer,” McGimsey said.

   Funds raised over the past 16 years during Breast Cancer Awareness Week have gone to a variety of causes, including Susan G. Komen and the American Cancer Society. Just last year, Trinity Prep funded a local organization called Libby’s Legacy. Libby’s Legacy explains its mission is to “serve women and men in Central Florida that are underserved” with a variety of treatments, such as screening mammograms, diagnostic mammograms, MRIs and biopsies.

   “Early detection is vital for patients,” the patient services navigator at Libby’s Legacy, Vickie Vasquez said. “It increases the patient’s rate of survivability.”

   Donations are very important for causes like breast cancer awareness and are the financial backbone of these groups. For an organization like Libby’s Legacy, donations can make an even larger difference because of the organization’s smaller size.

   “Donations are what we run on,” Vasquez said. “[Libby’s Legacy] is a small based non-profit organization, and our services are dependent on donations.”

   Trinity students are instrumental for the success of Breast Cancer Awareness Week. Even though the price of one chicken biscuit or Italian ice seems small, these small contributions add up into one large sum. Last year, student council raised $1,300 during Breast Cancer Awareness Week, and student council hopes to raise a similar amount this year.

   Participating in fundraisers like Breast Cancer Awareness Week also makes Trinity Prep an active part of the community, which McGimsey considers meaningful.

   “…I think it’s important to be community-minded, no matter what the cause is,” McGimsey said.

   He stresses the importance of contributing to the community, whether through breast cancer awareness week, UCP or hurricane relief efforts.

   Helping these causes creates an “understanding [that] we’re all part of a very interconnected community. Getting involved in a cause of putting the interests and concerns of others before what’s going on in your life is important.”

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The student news site of Trinity Preparatory School
Cash combats cancer: What becomes of Breast Cancer Awareness Week donations