The Pink Ladies
A Close Look at a Successful Fundraising Event on a College Campus
(Photo credit: Bella Fernandez ’16)
Enacting societal change is difficult to achieve alone. Often, students strive to take initiative, to inspire peers, to be leaders. Yet, individuals can also have great effect in supporting roles. This was the mindset of a group of Princeton University students who arranged themselves into teams to take part in the Collegians for the Cure Breast Cancer Run this year.
The Collegians for the Cure Run was started at Princeton six years ago by the women’s swimming and diving teams. Since then, race participation and the group’s fundraising success has increased annually. This year, the event raised over $4,000 to donate towards breast cancer research; 150 students participated in the run.
One team, the Pink Ladies (featured above), began when a Princeton student sought to honor her mother, a breast cancer survivor. When the student first proposed the idea to her fellow team members, many were skeptical. Some potential team members were not runners and others were in the final stages of recovering from injuries. However, the group decided that the cause was important; it was worth overcoming a few small challenges to create the possibility of helping countless women overcome larger ones. Moreover, the decision to form a team and participate was dependent on others’ initiative to set up the event, and, in the case of the Pink Ladies, one girl’s drive to support her mother. The team members’ decisions to run were not about leading or standing in the spotlight; it was about supporting fellow friends, peers, and above all, a great cause.
The Collegians for the Cure Breast Cancer Run is representative of the numerous fundraising and awareness efforts that take place on the Princeton campus. Although it is important to take initiative and support causes one feels strongly about, there is also something to be said for being participating in events as a volunteer, team member, follower. Most campuses already have countless support and activism groups, and while many of these are incredibly effective, some seem to be a little thin in terms of the actual physical support from students. As students, most of us are unable to create change in a financial way alone. The majority of college students do not have a source of income and cannot afford to donate large sums of money. Often, perhaps fortunately, the most effective way college students can show support for the causes they care about is by donating time and participating. Community activism is not only helpful, it is essential to effect change and raise awareness for causes like breast cancer, just like the Pink Ladies did this year at Princeton.
This article represents the sole opinion of the author, and does not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Change-Magazine.