By: Marissa Grimsley – Staff Writer
Saturday night, the University of Dayton’s skies were filled with pink and white balloons as Zeta Tau Alpha held the 17th annual FREEFAHL Benefit Concert to educate the community and raise money for breast cancer.
Lauren Trinca, director of philanthropy and a senior criminal justice and psychology major, said planning for FREEFAHL started spring semester, by picking the bands that performed, Gem City, Schneider & Co., and Moose Tracks. All three are UD-based bands.
“It’s trying to involve the community,” Trinca said, “I feel like it’s important to include campus bands because they have a lot of friends who could draw more people out to support our cause. You know who they are and it’s more personal.”
The UD Dance team also performed.
“Two of the dancers are ZTA’s, and one of the girls asked if the Dance team could perform,” Trinca said.
While Trinca was concerned with bands this summer, Anna Holdener, Think Pink chairman and junior medicinal-pharmaceutical chemistry major, said she was concerned with promoting the week before FREEFAHL.
Holdner said the week leading up to FREEFAHL was her week to promote and raise awareness. She said they chalked the Hangar door and the pink ribbon’s tied around the trees to get awareness out on campus.
It isn’t just about the music, Trinca said, her family friend Cindy Kaser, a survivor of breast cancer, spoke on her journey and survival through the disease during the event.
Trinca also said the luminary ceremony celebrated the lives affected by cancer.
“We are having people release balloons in remembrance for their loved ones. White balloons are for those who have passed and pink are for the ones who survived,” she said.
Trinca said they donated around $9,000 last year, and this year are looking to beat their previous donation but they didn’t have a specific goal.
While talking ZTA’s contribution last year, Holdener said “I feel great to say that I am a part of something bigger than myself and my chapter. We are helping a large extension of people, it may not be directly but indirectly.”
Holdener said her favorite part of this year’s event was the speakers.
“Sometimes the speakers are close to one of our sisters and it’s a good break in the music to realize exactly what we are doing this for,” she said, “There are fun things but at the same time it is for a cause and it lets people hear their stories.”
Trinca said she was happy with the turnout from the UD community this year.
“Having people come together to support not just the chapter but breast cancer awareness in general is awesome,” Trinca said, “Spending that $10 could be helping to save your future spouse and others that may be affected by the disease.”
For more information on Zeta Tau Alpha’s Philanthropy visit zetataualpha-iotapi.tumblr.com/philanthropy.