GVSU pumpkin painting event to fund breast cancer research

By Amy McNeel | 10/22/17 10:57pm

breastcancerpumpkin

With October being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, two Grand Valley State University organizations are coming together to help spread awareness and raise money for the cause. 

On Thursday, Oct. 26, two GVSU organizations, BRCAn’t Stop Me and ChemoCare at GVSU, are partnering to host "Pumpkin Painting for a Cure." The event will be held from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Kirkhof Center Grand River Room. The event will feature pumpkin painting, presentations and the chance to win a prize. 

“People are going to come (to the event) and are free to buy one pumpkin—or if they want to buy more, they can—and they can sit down with friends, paint pumpkins, and all the proceeds are going to go towards Purple Community to raise money for breast cancer,” said Kate Smith, president of BRCAn’t Stop Me, a non-profit organization with the mission to spread awareness about hereditary cancers.  

At the door, pumpkins will be $5 for one or $7 for two. Supplies will be provided, and attendees will have a chance to win a prize if the pumpkin they select has a sticker on the bottom. 

The ultimate goal of Pumpkin Painting for a Cure is to spread awareness about cancer and to raise money for cancer research. This event will also allow students to discuss and obtain information on cancer in a social way. 

“I just hope that a lot of people realize that breast cancer awareness is something that really needs to be taken seriously and it can be brought to the community in all different ways, even by painting pumpkins,” Smith said. “Just by buying one pumpkin, that money is going to go towards breast cancer research, and the more money we put towards it and the more awareness we put towards breast cancer, the closer we are going to get to finding a cure.”

Along with BRCAn’t Stop Me, ChemoCare at GVSU is helping to run the event. The mission of this organization is to help bridge the gap between kids who are sick, especially with cancer, and kids who are healthy. While overall awareness is the fundamental goal of Pumpkin Painting for a Cure, ChemoCare at GVSU also hopes to bring awareness to cancer with a specific focus on children.  

“We all know that cancer affects kids,” said Kayla Ross, co-president of ChemoCare at GVSU. “But while they’re going through their treatments, we don’t have to stand idly by. We might not know the answers for the cure or treatment, but we do know the answers for helping with happiness and love.”

While these two organizations have different focuses, they both hope that coming together and supporting a central cause will make their event successful in spreading awareness in a fun way while also illustrating that small actions can leave a large impact. 

“This event is just another way to raise money to allow other people to do cancer research but also allow people to realize that the small 30 minutes they can give can actually make an impact on kids in the hospital,” Ross said. 

For more information about this event, contact Kate Smith, president of BRCAn’t Stop Me, at smitkath@mail.gvsu.edu.

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