Women's basketball, class join to fight cancer
By ERIN PIROUTEK
When the Notre Dame women's basketball team takes the floor this evening, it will face not only Butler, but also a more formidable enemy — breast cancer. Tonight's 7 p.m. home opener for the Fighting Irish is a Breast Cancer Awareness Women's Basketball Game coordinated by professor Chuck Lennon's management class.
Through early detection and prompt treatment, suffering and loss due to breast cancer can be greatly reduced.
Before the game, free to students, faculty and staff, booths from Memorial Hospital, St Joseph's Hospital and Zeneca pharmaceutical company will provide information about breast cancer.
"The saying we use is `early detection means survival,'" said Lennon, noting that a goal of the event is to alerting everyone to the importance of mammograms and breast self-exams. Mammography can detect possibly cancerous breast changes long before physical symptoms can be seen or felt.
At half-time, the sounds of the song "I Will Survive" will fill the arena and those who have triumphed over the disease will be honored.
In addition to the informational opportunities, fans will have the opportunity to see the No. 8 Fighting Irish in action, as well as participate in many giveaways and contests.
The first 1,000 fans will receive a free T-shirt and every fan in attendance is guranteed a gift, such as a poster or magnet. Fans will also have the opportunity to win a free round-trip airline ticket.
The students were responsible for organization and promotion, which included public service announcements featuring Dick Vitale.
"The women's basketball team has been more than helpful," said student Ryan Newell.
"It's been a great experience," said junior guard Imani Dunbar as she handed out pink cards promoting the game to students at South Dining Hall. "This is going to be a special game to honor all of the loved ones we've lost to cancer."
In addition to wearing pink ribbons in their shoelaces, the women's basketball team will wear specially designed T-shirts that read "Long Live Courage" with the pink ribbon breast cancer logo during the pre-game warmup. As the players are introduced, the Irish will present the same shirts to the Butler players.
Lennon's class, management 231, is one of several service-learning classes offered by the University. The class allows students to take the principles of management they learn in the classroom and apply them to a real-life situation that benefits the community.
"These kids have done everything," said Lennon. "Our saying in class is `high trust; high performance.'"
"It shows you that school isn't just about classes and tests — there's applications to real life situations," said Margaret Maus, one of Lennon's students.
The project will continue long after the final buzzer sounds.
Lennon will teach the management class again next semester. That class will organize a breast cancer awareness baseball game April 30 when Notre Dame faces St John's.
Lennon explained that 2,800 female University alumni will get breast cancer. He said the awareness should be expanded to include those women.
The students compiled a booklet with instructions for organizing a breast cancer awareness event. The booklet will be distributed to the 240 Notre Dame alumni clubs.
All News Stories for Wednesday, December 1, 1999