American Cancer Society

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Finish the Fight

Finish the FightHappy 100th Birthday to the American Cancer Society-that’s 100 years of progress in the fight against cancer. Sixty years ago, 1 out of 3 people diagnosed with cancer survived.

Today, thanks in part to the work of the American Cancer Society, 2 out of 3 will survive.

Let’s make it 3 out of 3. It is time to take action and Finish the Fight

Top Contributions already made by the American Cancer Society Include:

1913: The American Cancer Society is founded.

1946: The American Cancer Society launches its groundbreaking research program.

1947: The first successful chemotherapy treatment for cancer is discovered.

1954: The fight to stop smoking and reduce lung cancer begins.

1973: Mammography is shown to be the best tool  to find breast cancer early.

1976: First Great American Smokeout.

1997: The American Cancer Society launches the first 24/7 cancer information call center.

2003: American Cancer Society research confirms the link between obesity and many types of cancer.

2012: The US celebrates a 20% decline in cancer death rates.


Party with a Purpose“Party with a Purpose” was the theme of Relay for Life held in Frost Arena from 6 p.m. on Friday April 19 to 6 a.m. Saturday. Supporters filled the arena to celebrate 100 years of the American Cancer Society and participate in Relay for Life.

Brittanie Venard, Relay for Life event chair and President of College Against Cancer, called the event a giant birthday party.  She said “Party with a Purpose” related to celebrating 100 years of the American Cancer Society along with Relay for Life’s goal of creating a world with more birthdays.

“We all come to this event with a personal tie to cancer. It’s just that cancer doesn’t sleep and neither do we and this is our way to fight back against cancer,” Venard said.

One of the main goals of CAC is to organize and fundraise for Relay for Life every year. The club starts in August and puts on a variety of fundraising events.  They raised funds through “Bowling for Boobs,” ice skating at Larson Ice Center and Coaches vs. Cancer. Area restaurants like Pizza Ranch, Cherry Berry, Cubby’s and Dairy Queen sponsored nights where a percentage of all proceeds went towards the CAC’s efforts.

CAC is divided into eight subcommittees; the committees are fundraising, team development, sponsorship, entertainment, survivorship/lumanaria, logistics, online, and publicity.

Relay for Life aims to support people who are currently fighting cancer, have survived cancer, remember those who have lost the battle, and make the commitment to fight the disease and raise money and awareness to end cancer.

Relay for Life consisted of 22 teams. Many SDSU clubs and organizations made teams and set up around the track. Along with sororities, fraternities and campus clubs, groups of friends also formed teams for the relay. Members from each team take turns walking on the track during the event’s entirety.

Each team had a specific campsite and was in charge of an on-site fundraiser.  A few of the fundraisers were pancakes, video games, a kissing booth, face painting, yard games and limbo.  The fundraisers made it fun for walkers of other teams to visit their campsites all the while raising money for cancer research.

The all-night event started with the opening ceremony and introduction of the night’s activities. Jessica Fick, freshman at SDSU, was named honorary survivor. She spoke at the opening of the event and told her personal story with cancer.  The honorary survivor is selected as someone on the SDSU campus who is a cancer survivor and is willing to share their story during the celebrate ceremony.

“I have been involved three times; it is part of my life now,” Fick said of being part of Relay for Life. “It feels really good to have all the people here for us,” she said.

After opening ceremony, the survivors/caregivers took the first lap around the track to start the night off.  The Relay for Life committee followed, and the rest of the teams started their lap afterwards.

As team members walked around the track, theme laps were featured about every two hours of the event. The theme laps were CEO and office women leader, toga, Mardi Gras, spring break and wearing colors that represent certain cancers. Team members dressed up and walked their laps in conjunction with the theme.

“My favorite part of Relay was being able to see all the teams having fun while working together to raise money for a great organization,” said Ryan Homan, Co-chair for Relay for Life.

Many activities were offered for participants throughout the night.  The teams partied with a purpose to performances by singers, participated in Zumba, “Minute to Win It,” the dance team performed and at midnight root beer pong was played. Miss South Dakota, Jessica Albers, was a featured speaker.

“It’s another great opportunity for volunteering, and there are people in the club’s families or friends that have been affected by cancer and it’s a great cause,” said Shaelee Nelson, member of the Exercise Science Club that formed a team for Relay for Life.

Relay for Life this year had more reason to celebrate, the event raised $19,500, which is more than last year. One Relay for Life sayings is “Imagine a world with more birthdays … we’re making that happen.”

KRAVE the Experience was also on hand to provide chair massages and all proceeds were donated to the SDSU Relay for Life.

Great American Smokeout

Great American Smokeout
On November 15th, the American Cancer Society marked its 37th Great American Smokeout. The day encourages smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit, or to plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

This day is especially meaningful to my family and myself. I lost my grandmother in 2007 from the effects of life-long tobacco use. I encourage every tobacco user to consider their options and consider the choice to quit or reduce their tobacco use. No form of tobacco is worth losing time with your loved ones.

According to the American Cancer Society, tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the US, yet about 43.8 million Americans still smoke cigarettes — Nearly 1 in every 5 adults.

Spreading the American Cancer Society Mission at SDSU.

Fall 2012 Organization FairTo kick off Colleges Against Cancer 2012-2013, we made a prominent appearance at the South Dakota State University Fall Organization Fair. In order to create life-long volunteers for the American Cancer Society, it is important to get students on campus involved and excited about the American Cancer Society Mission. At the fair we advocated about the American Cancer Society, as well as networked with other organizations on campus. With it being my first year as President of Colleges Against Cancer, I was proud to see that our strong presence at the Fair brought nearly 100 students to our first meeting of the year- an increase from 20 students last year.


I Relay For my Grandma PatRelay for Life of SDSU
We raised over $13,000 for cancer research and programs! The American Cancer Society Relay for Life of SDSU celebrated those who have survived cancer, remembered those we have lost, and fought back against cancer. As an emcee, I had the privilege of keeping everyone awake for the 12 hour event!
The SDSU Colleges Against Cancer spent the entire school year organizing and promoting the event. We were able to gather sponsors in the community, gather 12 hours of entertainment, and promote the event to all college students and professors.
We had numerous entertainment acts along with motivational speaker Holly Hoffman from Survivor Nicaragua Season 21 in attendance. As she stated, “It is truly those who have fought and survived cancer that are the true survivors.”


American Cancer Society Gala Event
What a success! The donations are in and the dollars have been counted! The American Cancer Society Gala Event held on March 23, 2012 at the Sioux Falls, SD Washington Pavilion raised over $100,000! We gathered over $30,000 just in silent auction items alone! It was a pleasure being a member of the committee that made this event possible.

After a year of hard work and dedication, it is phenomenal to know that this money will be assisting people locally through American Cancer Society programs such as Hope Lodge and Road to Recovery.

I would like to extend a “Thank you” to everyone who donated their time, items, and dollars to the event!