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  • Writer's pictureThe HYPE Team

Colleges Against Cancer: February 2017 Org of the Month

Last week we sat down the Colleges Against Cancer to uncover all of the great things they do for Bentley’s campus. Bentley’s Colleges Against Cancer (CAC) works to implement programs promoting cancer education and advocacy on Bentley’s campus, aiming to make the Bentley community — students, faculty, and staff together — aware of the risks and treatments of various cancers. They are a chapter of a nationwide collaborative of college students supporting the American Cancer Society’s efforts for cancer patient support, research, prevention & education, and detection & treatment through their own outreach and fundraising, such as the annual Relay for Life event.

Colleges Against Cancer hosted its first Relay for Life event in 2005. This year marks the 13th year, having raised over $418,000 for the American Cancer Society. Erik Alatalo and Katie Burke are co-Presidents and the rest of the Eboard includes Paige Devlin as treasurer, Caroline Conrad, Brian Sorbanelli, Frank Elenio, Alyssa Norton, and Jenna Plotzky. This organization has around 40 club members.

Colleges Against Cancer puts on many events throughout the school year to raise cancer awareness, check out a few below:

  • Save Your Balls Volleyball in September to promote testicular cancer

  • Bra Pong in the pub during October to promote breast cancer awareness

  • The Great American Smokeout (GASO) during November to raise awareness of the dangers of tobacco

  • Relay for Life Kickoff, in November featuring Whack-a-Mole and sunglasses to promote skin cancer awareness

  • 15-40 Connection Speaker Panel in January to promote early cancer detection, with signs to look for and steps to follow, specifically geared toward the 15-40 year old age group and presented by recent college graduates.

  • Kiss Cancer Goodbye on Valentine’s Day to promote heart cancer awareness and Relay for Life – with a candy treat on every desk of all 8am classes

  • Paint the Campus Purple in February to kickoff our final stretch for Relay for Life registration, decorating the student center purple, and serving purple smoothies and cake in the 921.

  • Education and Advocacy Trivia Night in March to promote cancer awareness and education.

  • CAC-ti Facti in April to distribute cancer information on Cacti and Succulents purchased by students

  • Our annual Relay for Life event, which this year was on March 31st. Relay is a community event where teams gather together to fight back against cancer, celebrate cancer survivors and caregivers, and learn about cancer prevention, support, and research. We walked around the track, participated in games and activities, and listened to powerful speeches and ceremonies. Teams signed up together to attend and fundraise for the event, and all proceeds from the event benefited the American Cancer Society.

  • Various fundraisers throughout the year such as Pancake nights, Krispy Kreme Fundraiser, “dormstorming” with baked goods

We asked Erik what he thought were the most successful events on campus:

I think that all of our events are successful in their own way and that they are consistently impactful for those that attend them, we don’t have one event that I would consider the most successful. I think our 15-40 Connection Speaker Panel was particularly impactful this year because it was able to disseminate important information about early detection of cancer in a unique and interactive way. This topic is not particularly ‘exciting’ and many may have reservations or anxiousness about attending, but I think the fact that we were able to get so many people to that event was particularly encouraging. The Panel had around 75 audience members.

Relay for Life is our biggest event in terms of overall student engagement. Every year, our event features various student groups, such as off the clock and the dance team performing, sports teams running various games; fraternities and sororities running different fundraisers, including a dunk tank, and impactful speeches from President Larson and students affected by cancer. The turnout and fundraising efforts for our cause at this event are particularly encouraging with typically 600 to 800 people attending.

How can people get involved in the organization?

Colleges Against Cancer meets on Mondays at 7:30 in Back Bay A and will continue to do so for the Fall Semester. If you are interested in joining you can contact the GA at

People can find out about the events on campus by checking out their social media:

  • Facebook: Relay for Life of Bentley University

  • Twitter: @BentleyRelay

  • Instagram: @BentleyRelay

  • We are also found frequently tabling outside of seasons to spread the word about our awesome events!

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