Hope starts here

Despite the cold weather, students from many St. John’s organizations waited patiently in the University Center on Sunday morning for their ride to the beginning of the five-mile walk from Borough Hall to the Queens Center Mall and back for breast cancer.

Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is a national campaign for breast cancer research. This is its 13th year. The organization expected 8,500 walkers in Queens and got just that. It hoped to raise $600,000. St. John’s students came out in full force to help raise money and awareness for the walk. There was red everywhere. Students from Queens College also came out and the result was a united student body of Queens.

Students fundraised in various ways, whether individually or as an organization. Gamma Chi Sorority asked students to donate $1 to their collection for the walk. Each person who donated signed a Making Strides card with their name and organization and they can be found hanging on the wall in the University Center near the Gamma Chi table.

Everyone who participates in a walk like this has their own reasons. Lee Wilkens, a senior in Beta Alpha Psi Accounting Honor Society, said she walks every year because “it’s a good cause.”

“Why do you walk?” has been a slogan for Making Strides in the past. St. John’s students reasons for walking varied from knowing a survivor to helping to raise awareness of an important women’s issue.

Tracey Smith, a junior and sister of Delta Phi Epsilon had similar feelings to Wilkens,
“I’m walking with my sisters to support the fight against breast cancer for women all over the world,” Smith said.
It was Isabella Lubin, a sophomore who was walking with the Caribbean Student Association, who perhaps summed up the entire reason for the walk.

“I just wanted to do it,” Lubin said. “Breast cancer affects everything.”

This point was clear at the walk where many survivors clad in pink shirts that said “survivor” walked side by side with family and students in hopes of making the fight against breast cancer a little easier.

Whether with an organization or alone, the students of St. John’s made a difference on Sunday when they donned their red and participated in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk. Some walked, the dance team, cheerleaders, and pep band entertained the crowd, and others helped hand out water or cheer walkers on. Overall, the walk was a success and the experience is not one any participant will soon forget.