Streams of pink filled the Miron Student Center (MSC) Atrium, as the fall semester saw the Breast Cancer Awareness Kickoff event take place on Monday, Oct. 2, 2017. From 12:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., students and other members of the Kean community played fun and interesting games while donating toward the fight against Breast Cancer in a four hour festival dedicated to raise awareness about the disease.
Inside the atrium were tables blanketed with pink drapes and on these tables were multiple games for students to enjoy, informational cardboard displays about the most common cancer among women and other activities designed to honor those in the fight against breast cancer.
Also at these tables were service specialists from Kean University's Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) to help those participating in the activities. With any donation of the players' choice, those walking inside and out of the Miron Student Center were given the opportunity to paint rocks into their favorite pink designs and try their luck at three challenging games set up by the service specialists. These donations would be beneficial as all proceeds would go directly to the American Cancer Society (ACS).
At the entrance of the atrium, three volunteering service specialists sat at tables decorated with pink and white balloons. Specialists at this pink-draped table had the responsibilities of welcoming students to the event, signing up people for the upcoming Breast Cancer Awareness walk, Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017 while also filling up a list of people who wish to order "Kean Blue Thinks Pink" apparel early. Emely Hernandez, a sophomore psychology major and service specialist, enjoyed the event and saw it as an opportunity to help for the greater good.
"We have a lot of different projects that show women how to test themselves and we bring awareness by having interactive games for people to play," Hernandez said. "This year, we are having games where people play with money and that way we raise money [for the American Cancer Society]."
The first of these money games, and a favorite to those who played it, was a coin-tossing game called "Dunking for Change". Students were tasked with pitching any coin of their choice into five cups glued onto a cardboard display. Winners who successfully threw the coins in the cup were rewarded with candy and pink bracelets.
Similarly, a game next to it, called "Diving for Change", involved dropping pennies, nickles, dimes and quarters into a plastic cup inside of a water-filled fish bowl. Successful participants were equally compensated with pink prizes and different candies.
The most popular of the games that experienced the largest turnout was a glass vase game that involved three vases and students had five chances to throw small white ping-pong balls inside of the glass jars for more sweet delicacies.
Not only did the games inspire those playing them to donate their money to a good cause, but they gave students the leisure of taking the time out of their busy Monday schedules to put their efforts into playing exhilarating games that would help women and men across the country beat the illness. Gabriella Lapointe, a service specialist and junior majoring in special education, attributed the event's success not only to the interesting challenges, but the willingness of the Kean community in wanting to make a difference in the world around them.
"This is my second year being a part of this event, and it is always good to know that our hard work in making this possible for the students paid off," said Lapointe. "The games are a fun way to get people involved and they are able to donate to a good cause."
From students to alumni, the chance to have a hand in finding a cure for Breast Cancer while playing fun games throughout the afternoon attracted the many members of the Kean University family. An alumni of the school with a degree in communication, Keith Bell attested to the fact that this day was not only fun and creative, but informative as well.
"I think this was a great event that was very intriguing. It pulled people's attention, made them want to donate and made people feel involved by participating," Bell said. "It is good to have activities where people donate, because it, in turn, makes it fun to donate."
Information on what students can do during Breast Cancer Awareness month can be found on Cougar Link, as well as how to donate to the American Cancer Society and how to purchase the "Kean Blue Thinks Pink" apparel releasing later this month.