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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Cheerleaders fundraise for Dana-Farber

Published: November 21, 2014
Section: News

To support the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Brandeis Cheerleaders held a bake sale in Upper Usdan on Nov. 4-6.

All baked goods were homemade with vegan and gluten-free options for sale as well.

Founded in 1947 in Boston, the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute seeks to provide both children and adults with compassionate inpatient care while also performing research, hoping to discover more about cancer and other diseases. Dana-Farber focuses on developing better diagnosis methods, treatments and prevention techniques. The institute’s ultimate goal is to find cures for cancer, AIDS and other diseases, but also to stop the fear associated with these conditions.

Kelly Packard, the media relations assistant at Dana-Farber, describes the organization as “a principal teaching affiliate of Harvard Medical School.” Furthermore, she added, it is “world-renowned for its leadership in adult and pediatric cancer treatment and research. Designated as a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), it is one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of NCI and National Institutes of Health grant funding.”

This bake sale was organized as part of a larger event, the second annual Cheer for Dana-Farber. Cheerleading teams register to participate in the event and then hold fundraisers in their local communities. These fundraisers can consist of anything from car washes to bake sales. Eighty-nine cents out of every dollar that is raised will go directly to the foundation.

“All teams that raise $1,000 or more will be entered into a drawing for the grand prize—a chance to perform a cheerleading routine during the pre-game show Dec. 28 at the New England Patriots game against the Buffalo Bills. Each additional $1,000 raised earns teams an additional ticket entered into the drawing. The top five fundraising teams will be invited to a special cheer clinic Saturday, Dec. 20 run by the New England Patriots cheerleaders at the Dana-Farber Field House at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.,” Packard said.

Last year, 85 teams raised nearly $70,000 for cancer research and patient care. This year, the organization hopes to raise $100,000 in order to make the lives of the patients and their families a little bit easier. So far, $43,257 have been raised toward this goal, with 15 days left.

“We sold a variety of things: slutty brownies, gluten-free sugar cookies, gluten-free chocolate cookies, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate chip pumpkin muffins, vegan pumpkin cookies, fudge, white chocolate chip red velvet cupcakes,” said Taylor Goldston ’16, treasurer of the Brandeis cheer team.

By 12:30 on the first day, the bake sale sold out of goods for the day. By the end of the week, the team raised $150 for the Dana-Farber Institute.

Jordyn Seri ’18 recollected the best part of the experience for her: “One woman came up to us and bought something and told us that she was a cancer survivor who was treated by the Dana-Farber foundation, which was really awesome!”

The Brandeis cheer team has plans to continue fundraising later in the year. As Goldston put it, “Be on the lookout for ‘cheer-grams!’”