SUNY Plattsburgh’s Greek life virtually hosted the annual “No More Cancer Rally” to help raise money and awareness for childhood cancer April 22.
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located in Memphis, Tennessee, is one of the world’s pediatric cancer research centers. Its mission is to find cures for children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases. Research is focused specifically on cancers, some acquired and inherited immunodeficiencies, sickle cell disease, infectious diseases and genetic disorders.
SUNY Plattsburgh has been working to encourage people to donate to St. Jude by hosting bi-weekly giveaways and offering prizes to those who have raised the most funds. Before the No More Cancer Rally event, SUNY Plattsburgh’s Greek organizations already reached their fundraising goal of $20,000, which was announced on their Facebook page March 29. The event was able to boost funds and $20,980 has currently been raised, surpassing their goal.
Katie Keiling, the finance coordinator for the interfraternity council executive board, said the efforts of SUNY Plattsburgh contribute greatly.
“I thought it was amazing how the school could come together and raise thousands of dollars,” Keiling said. “When I go to the No More Cancer Rally, I see it as a celebration of not only our efforts but the fact that children are beating cancer and finishing their chemotherapy, and they can go back to their homes and families.”
To kick off the event, students were encouraged to share the donation link in order to win raffle tickets. Sharing the link through email and text would earn tickets. If people donated money, even more tickets were earned. Then, students participated in games to win points, which would earn tickets.
The second fundraising challenge encouraged students to share the link on any social platform to earn more tickets. The tickets were then shuffled by an online generator and students won prizes to local restaurants, like Aleka’s, Pizza Hut, Anthony’s and Ninety-Nine.
“All our prizes tonight were actually donated by the local Plattsburgh businesses. It is nice to see that we were making that connection with the community and were getting not only campus involvement, but also the greater Plattsburgh community involved as well,” Keiling said.
The event was held over Zoom, but still deemed effective. Lucas Draffen, the executive director of the interfraternity executive council board, thought the event was effective over Zoom, especially on the fundraising side of things.
“I think everyone that was there had at least a little bit of fun [and] learned a little bit about St. Jude. I think it was a successful event especially for the circumstances,” Draffen said.
When the event was in person, participants were encouraged to stay up from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. in order to understand the pain that children with cancer face.
Sam Tascione, the event coordinator of the interfraternity executive council board, expressed that the interactive aspects of the event were lacking, but under the circumstances it was a success.
“It’s kind of a mixed bag. I think the event last year was more meaningful in-person and I love the message behind staying up 10 to two, but we were able to meet our goal this year and boost our fundraising,” Tascione said.
The event can give a personal meaning to fundraising and evoke more emotion from donors, rather than just giving money to St. Jude’s.
“I thought it was so much fun to be able to hook people’s interest into St. Jude’s and not only to raise money, but to show why we’re raising money. It’s a great opportunity to give a face to the donations,” Tascione said.