In commemoration of National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, UCSB’s Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority is holding its 2nd annual 5 kilometer “Kappa Dash” along the Campus Lagoon on Saturday to raise money for breast cancer research.
The sorority hopes to raise $5,000 with participation and support from both greek and non-greek UCSB students as well as residents of Santa Barbara County. Susan Forkush, project director of the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program of Santa Barbara, said the funding will provide up to 200 mammograms for low-income, uninsured young women in the Santa Barbara area through the Under Forty Fund.
“We all have mothers, aunts, friends and family that are affected by breast cancer – and younger women can get breast cancer too,” Forkush said.
Last year’s race raised $2,000. 75 percent of the money went to the Breast Cancer Early Detection Program of Santa Barbara, and the other 25 percent went to Western Technologies of Santa Barbara, a local company currently researching a way to detect breast cancer in younger women or, in rare instances, men.
“Kappa Kappa Gamma is excited and proud to host an event that brings greeks and the community together for a common goal,” Shanna Greenlee, Kappa Kappa Gamma president, said. “With the participation of the UCSB and Goleta community, we hope to spread awareness and raise donations to support the research and efforts of the local breast cancer organization.”
Last year the ladies of Kappa, with the assistance of Philanthropy Chair Jaclyn Shaughnessy, came up with their 5k “Kappa Dash” as a way for students and members of the community to easily get involved. In addition to getting the satisfaction of contributing to this positive cause, winning participants could receive prizes such as Jack Johnson tickets, a trip to Las Vegas or a six-month membership to Gold’s Gym.
“We are trying to make a positive impact,” Shaughnessy said. “[We are] getting more people involved and aware, and we are opening up the relations.”
Nearly every national greek organization at UCSB has registered for Saturday’s race and Chancellor Yang and his wife are also expected, Shaughnessy said. Shaughnessy said she also hopes the event will help to change the negative view of the greek system and emphasize “our purpose.” She said she hopes this will allow non-greeks to witness the active role greek organizations play in the community.