Knocking the socks off of breast cancer
Women’s lacrosse team aims to make a difference through fundraising
Published: Thursday, October 17, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 17, 2013 17:10
Around 39,620 American women will not see 2014 because of breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
This fall, a group of determined UB students is hoping to help curb these figures by raising and donating funds to a number of breast cancer charities.
The UB women’s club lacrosse team is starting a fundraising campaign, selling mid-calf athletic socks – available in pink with a black lacrosse stick or black with a ribbon – for $10 a pair. The proceeds will serve two purposes: help the team raise money to donate to a relevant cause and make strides toward funding a trip to playoffs in the spring.
The team aims to aid two foundations in particular: Boarding for Breast Cancer and Nancy & Friends Fighting Cancer, Inc. – a foundation started by the late mother of Ashley Infantino, a junior communication major and team treasurer.
Infantino, whose mother passed away when she was 9, is not the only team member who has personally been affected by breast cancer.
“Breast cancer has drastically impacted so many lives on our team – more than half of our girls,” said Courtney Hanusch, a senior psychology major and team president. “There are plenty of girls on our team that have been affected by it – someone knows someone.”
This year alone, 232,340 women in America will be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.
The team’s personal connections to the disease are not the sole reason its executive board chose to support breast cancer.
Hanusch believes the campaign can help give students a better perspective on the world around them and their place in it, especially given the timing in the year.
“It’s crucial to do it this month opposed to other months – this is the month that the NFL makes it big,” Hanusch said. “So we want to take the awareness from everything and bring it to the college campuses because, a lot of times, college kids get lost in their studies and all that. But I think we do have to ground ourselves and realize, ‘Hey, a lot more is going on than what we’re focusing on.’ It doesn’t hurt to pay it forward.”
Along with aiding the fight against breast cancer, the team hopes to use some of the proceeds to fund their trip to playoffs this spring.
“We never go to playoffs; we get invited every year, but we never go because of our budget,” Hanusch said. “Depending on how much we make, really, we’re hoping to split 50/50.”
Hanusch, who hasn’t had a chance to compete in playoff competition since she arrived at UB, hasn’t made a final decision regarding this partitioning of funds yet. The decision depends on how much money is raised, seeing as the club’s primary focus is breast cancer, she said.
“Our focus is to donate to the foundations,” Hanusch said.
The team’s aim is aided by the fact that this sock sale is the first major fundraiser the team has ever devised and initiated, Hanusch said, calling it “a brand new thing.”
Emma Callinan*, a junior communication major and team secretary, said club members have made attempts in previous years to raise money for the team and similar causes, but those attempts never came to fruition.
Administrative barriers, timeliness and the woes of a young executive board created obstacles for the team, making it difficult for these efforts to gain legitimate traction, Infantino added. This year’s returning e-board wants this season to be different.
“[Last year], we wanted to have a big tournament, but again, money and time, that just wasn’t feasible,” Infantino said. “So we really chose the next best option.”
Selling the socks, which students and community members alike could buy, “was a no-brainer” to Infantino.
Hanusch hopes the sock sale will be successful enough throughout the semester to help show the student body that even small groups of students, like club sports teams, can have an impact on their community and society in general.
“Varsity teams are great, but they’re just as great as club teams, and club teams don’t get recognized for the work that they put in,” Hanusch said. “I know lacrosse is a great organization, so that’s what I want to do before I leave, is show everyone how awesome it is.”
Hanusch is looking for the cultivation of this legacy out of her senior year, to be able to make an impact on a cause so relevant to her and her team.
“Before I [leave] UB, I wanted to do something drastic, something big,” Hanusch said. “I need to know that something was done.”
Those interested in ordering socks can look around campus in the coming days for banners containing ordering information; they can also contact the e-board members directly.
*Emma Callinan is the advertising manager for The Spectrum.