The Beta Alpha Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., along with the Surgeon General of the Student Government Association, hosted the fifth Annual Night Out for breast cancer Thursday Oct. 27th.
Greeted by smiles, signs and donation envelopes sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the event was filled with students and faculty concerned with the fight against breast cancer. Preceding the event, everyone was handed pamphlets on how to give proper self-breast exams, informed of the staggering numbers of people diagnosed with the disease and the disheartening number of those who lose the fight annually.
The evening was filled with inspiring testimonials and performances by various students and groups on campus such as Epicurean! Fashion Experience, who strutted for a cause in trendy shades of denim and pink, and Essence Dance Theatre, who delivered a motivating dance solo to Whitney Houston’s “I’ll hasten to his throne.” There were also moving solos performed by Khare Hawkins and Damien Moses.
Students came out to support the event and learned the significance in spreading the message of breast cancer awareness and prevention.
“Events like this serve two purposes by bringing people out to see campus groups and organizations in action and by creating awareness about how the disease [breast cancer] affects those in the community and on a national level,” said Kumasi Aaron, a 20-year-old junior accounting student from Sebring, Fla.
The SGA secretary of state for the 2005-2006 school year said he was impressed and enlightened by the unity and informing nature of the event.
“When we are able to come together as a student body and do our part to become more knowledgeable about issues, it makes the message that much easier to spread,” Aaron said.
DeAnthony Friday, an 18-year-old freshman biology student from Compton, Calif., was truly touched by the event.
“Cancer is something that is prevalent in my family. My grandmother died from brain cancer and my aunt actually had one of her breasts removed due to breast cancer, so that is what really made me come out,” Friday said. “I wanted to support the organizations involved and learn more about something that has affected me first hand
Clifford Stubbs, an 18-year-old freshman psychology and sociology student from West Palm Beach, found the event uplifting and informative.
“I had some understanding of the disease, but I really learned a lot from the pamphlets, facts and statistics they provided. It’s about encouraging and supporting those who struggle with the disease and promoting awareness of the dangers and risks involved,” Stubbs said.
Although some students in attendance were a bit unaware of all the hazards and dangers that go hand-in- hand with the diagnosis, a few were quite familiar with the disease.
Shashee Moore, a sophomore public relations student from West Palm Beach, and SGA official knows all too well.
“I consider myself to be very well-informed about the disease because my grandmother is a breast cancer survivor. Events like this hit home and I really think it’s important for the student body to learn more,” Moore said.
Irene Aihie, a 24-year-old native of Miami, and co-chair of projects within Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for the 2005-2006 term, helped to coordinate the event.
“Cancer is something that hits close to home for me, not only because I’m in a health related field, but my father was affected by prostate cancer,” Aihie said. “I have a feeling that the message was really brought across and received well, which is the most important thing. I love helping to plan events like this.”
Aihie is excited about the events’ turn out, and is optimistic about the increase in awareness about the disease.
“With each year the numbers continue to grow, word gets out, and people just get a chance to have a good time and reflect on all the facts and figures,” said the pharmacy and health information management student. She hopes to see an even more enthusiastic crowd next year.
The night ended with students gathering around the eternal flame to have prayer and recognize those who lost in the battle against breast cancer.
Contact Yewande Addie at firstname.lastname@example.org