During the past year, the faculty and staff of the Anderson University School of Adult Learning tackled a service project in support of the American Cancer Society. Using two rocking chairs donated by Lowe’s, each with a nameplate donated by Eckstein’s House of Awards, the group attended Relay For Life with the plan of acquiring signatures on the chairs. They called the project Sign4aCure.
When severe weather interrupted Relay For Life, the group had to take the project in a different direction. “There were tornadoes and heavy storms that day, so the chairs only had a few signatures on them,” said Ruth Pritchett, recruiter at SOAL and organizer of Sign4aCure.
Despite the storms, Pritchett and her colleagues were determined to secure signatures for the chairs and raise money for cancer research. During the fall semester, the rocking chairs often sat in the SOAL lobby. They were marked with a sign inviting anyone who had personally been affected or who had a loved one affected by cancer to sign the chair and contribute $2 toward the fund. At other times, the chairs were taken to events off campus.
By the end of the project, $582 had been raised. Since then, SOAL donated one chair to the Madison County Cancer Care Center and the other to St. John’s Cancer Center.
[Photo: Pictured from left are SOAL staff Kerrie Aborn, Jeff Hency, Ellen Daniels, Natalie Edwards, Ruth Pritchett, and Chris Maggart; AU Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean Dr. Marie Morris; School of Adult Learning Dean Dr. Aleza Beverly; and SOAL student Nancy Ramsey.]
“Patients at the Cancer Center are tickled about the personalization of the gift," said Cathy Timmons, facility and operations manager at Madison County Cancer Care Center. "The rocking chairs mean that someone out there like Ruth Pritchett is doing something to garner funds to help the American Cancer Society do their job. It’s like a big circle where everyone’s working together to help one another.”
Most of the donated money will support cancer research, but some funding may be directed toward advocacy programs, according to Laura Market, the community representative for the American Cancer Society. Two of the most prominent advocacy programs in the area are Look Good ... Feel Better, which pairs licensed cosmetologists with patients to help improve patient self-esteem and quality of life, and Road to Recovery, which provides transportation for cancer patients to and from treatment.
The American Cancer Society seemed to be a natural fit for the School of Adult Learning's service project. v“Almost everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. It's so prevalent,” said Pritchett. “It’s been good for our department to work on a project together to support a cause that’s greater than ourselves.”
— Kelly Frye is a junior from Elkhart, Ind., majoring in biology and communication arts. Frye is an associate with Fifth Street Communications™, writing on behalf of the Anderson University Office of University Communications.
Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,600 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2010, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the seventh consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 65 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing, and theology.