AIU Cares, the AIU philanthropy committee that started in AIU Atlanta, is doing its part to fight breast cancer. The team has already raised $33,770.85 towards their $35,000 goal for the Atlanta Susan G. Komen 3-Day™, which will be held October 19-21, 2012.
AIU Atlanta Business Program Chair and Team Captain for AIU Cares Dr. Judy Bullock says, “AIU Cares has been working diligently over the past 32 weeks, interacting with the general public every Saturday and Sunday morning, and walking over 600 miles since March to educate the Atlanta community about breast cancer facts.”
The team’s efforts to combat breast cancer align with AIU’s mission, says Dr. Bullock. “AIU is about education and awareness. African-American women affected by breast cancer have a higher mortality rate; this is an education and awareness issue.” The team’s description goes on to say, “We are committed to changing lives through education and know that early detection leads to early cure.”
As a large segment of the Atlanta community is African-American, this is a situation that hits close to campus. “If you want to change perceptions in the community, you have to be a part of the community,” says Dr. Bullock.
A total of 24 people are listed on the AIU Cares team. Short of Dr. Bullock, Faculty Member Dr. Warren Thompson, and MBA AIU Atlanta graduate student Santrice Curry, the team includes people not directly affiliated with AIU. The team is open to the community, as AIU Atlanta President Peter C. Correa opens the campus’ doors to the Komen organization for Getting Started meetings. “The people who joined our team wanted a sense of connection and community, and they found it at AIU. They’re new to AIU, but they love us,” says Dr. Bullock.
The Susan G. Komen 3-Day™ is no small feat. It involves walking an average of 20 miles each day of the three day event, equaling 60 miles. After training for and finishing the walk, participants typically have worn out two pairs of shoes. The AIU Cares team makes sure those shoes don’t go to waste. In addition to supporting the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure® and the Susan G. Komen 3-Day™, they also support Shoes for Africa. Every pair of donated shoes sends a child in Africa to school. Last year, 48 pairs of shoes were donated, and Dr. Bullock is hoping to accumulate more this year.
AIU Cares also just received more exciting news about this year’s walk. Glen DeKeyser, a man who lost his wife to breast cancer, is participating in all 14 walks this year across the country. This commitment entails raising at least $32,200 in donations personally and walking 840 miles in events, in addition to hundreds of miles in training. He has walked 420 miles in events so far and has 420 miles to go. A strong believer in Komen’s Community of Caring, Glen joins a team to walk with in each event city. After looking through all of the many teams registered for the Atlanta walk, he chose AIU Cares!
Additionally, the engagement in this fight expands past AIU Cares and Glen DeKeyser, Phase 2, the AIU Atlanta Choir, will be singing a 30 minute set on Friday at the event. Finally, AIU Cares has the special honor of having a family on the team. Pooja Juvekar lost her mother to breast cancer when she was three years old. Pooja says, “I remember her through all the pink ribbons I see representing Breast Cancer.” Joined by her father Suhas and step-mom Ujj, Pooja is excited about serving on the Youth Crew for the Cure during the event.
AIU Cares’ goal is to raise $35,000 in the fight against breast cancer. As we enter into October and Breast Cancer Awareness Month, please visit this website to donate to AIU Cares. The AIU Cares team thanks you in advance!
If you’re wondering how your donation will be spent, according to Susan G. Komen’s Consolidated Spending Fiscal Year 2011: 37% goes to education; 23% research & awards; 16% screening; 10% fundraising; 7% treatment; 7% administration*.
*Without the value of contributed goods and services – based on Consolidated Spending Fiscal Year 2011.
Photo: The AIU Cares logo, and AIU Cares Team Captain Dr. Judy Bullock and Glen DeKeyser, a man who is walking 840 miles in events this year, in honor of his wife.