ZTA fundraises to fight breast cancer

By Maddi Ference
Social Media Editor

Zeta Tau Alpha colored the College pink this week, in addition to the traditional blue and gold that lines the campus.

ZTA’s annual “Big Man on Campus,” its male beauty pageant, was hosted on Oct. 4, as part of its Pink Out Week, which ran from Oct. 1 to Oct. 6. Each year, Pink Out Week spreads breast cancer education and raises awareness.

Students eagerly filled the Brower Student Center and prepared to watch eight student participants compete to be crowned contestants, styled in pink attire, matched the various pink banners and decorations pinned up throughout the auditorium. One student even dressed in a hot-pink unicorn sweatshirt.

To prove they were worthy of the tiara, each contestant showcased their talents, answered trivia questions about breast cancer and participated in a pushup contest.

Other events hosted throughout the week, including a Kicks for a Cause kickball tournament, pumpkin painting and a dunk tank, also contributed to breast cancer education and awareness — which is the chapter’s philanthropy.

The sorority did not limit itself to just one week of fundraising.

With October being National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, ZTA is also partnering with Deli on a Bagel in Pennington, New Jersey, in which a portion of sales go to the sorority’s philanthropy.

Pink Out Week includes a dunk tank for charity. (Meagan McDowell / Staff Photographer)

Emily McClain, a junior public health major and sister of ZTA, believes that Pink Out Week is a great opportunity for students throughout campus to show their support for a cause that many are personally affected by.

“I haven’t personally been affected by it, but I know a lot of people that have. It’s such a real, crazy thing,” McClain said.

Many of the event’s attendees have been personally affected by the disease. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their life, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“I think it’s a great way for everyone to come together for a greater cause and it’s really awesome to see other organizations supporting us,” McClain said.

Sara Mikula, a junior elementary education and English double major, attended “Big Man on Campus” and felt that Pink Out Week did a good job of raising awareness.

“It was an entertaining night but also one that addressed an essential topic of spreading awareness and education about breast cancer,” Mikula said. “The turnout was great, and listening to different people’s stories about how breast cancer has affected them was really powerful.”

ZTA’s main goals of its philanthropy week was to raise money for the cause and educate those about the disease.

Chris Kalb, a junior mathematics major, understands how impactful cancer can be.

“Cancer affects everybody,” Kalb said. “Personally, I haven’t had a relative or someone I know have breast cancer, but my aunt had cancer so I can understand the same type of effect it has on people.”

There is no cure for breast cancer, only various treatments such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. Even with the many treatments available, none are 100 percent effective.

Mikula shared the story of her grandmother’s sister, who died of breast cancer at 25.

“(Breast cancer) has greatly impacted my family,” she said.

Although many students have lost family members or friends to the disease, the  education and awareness that Zeta Tau Alpha provides can offer both men and women the knowledge they need for early detection and tips for prevention.

“Spreading awareness and educating others about breast cancer is something my Grandma and family take seriously,” Mikula said. “I think she would really enjoy the work that ZTA is doing.”