Walk into any Florida campus on a Wednesday throughout the months of August, September and October and you will find faculty, staff and students wearing shades of the same color to support and bring awareness to all different types of cancer.
Tampa/Brandon Campus Director Staceyann Sinclair started the Colors of Cancer Awareness campaign on her campus three years ago, and now it’s grown where all the Florida campuses are supporting the cause.
Every Wednesday faculty, staff and students wear clothing of a particular color to bring awareness to the cancers that are represented by those same colors. The colors can represent multiple types of cancers. For example, the first Wednesday of August people wore a shade of purple, violet or lavender to bring awareness to all cancer survivors, Hodgkin’s Disease, pancreatic cancer, testicular cancer and others. The next week was a different color that brought awareness to other types of cancer in the same color family.
Additionally, the campuses are raising donations and doing runs/walks in the campus communities.
“We have raised several thousand dollars doing this, and the money we raise is given from Rasmussen College and is split between the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and American Cancer Society,” Sinclair said.
There are many fundraisers the campuses participate in to raise money for donations.
- Faculty and staff can wear jeans on a Friday if they donate $5.
- There are quarterly bake sales with lots of student participation.
- Faculty, staff and students join together in the student lounge to make tutus for their runs/walks. The tutus sell for $12 apiece and usually bring in up to $600.
- They tie-dye blue and pink T-shirts for the month of October to support breast cancer for men and women.
- Staff coordinates plant sales on campus.
“It’s become a tradition—one that people really look forward to,” Sinclair said. “They are making it a part of their lives; they want to know how to contribute.”
Sinclair said one of her employees is a cancer survivor and wanted to help. She doubles up on the amount of planting and gardening she does at her house—with the help of her neighbor—to sell the plants for the fundraisers. So far, they have sold over 100 of her plants.
“Everyone knows someone that has been impacted by cancer,” Sinclair said. “Every year I get a heartfelt email or phone call from someone on campus telling me how cancer has affected their lives … or I find out how many staff members or students are cancer survivors. That’s the stuff that makes me warm inside and makes me proud of the awareness and support we’re bringing.”
Sinclair is hoping the Colors of Cancer Awareness tradition continues to grow outward into the community. She has served as chair for the American Cancer Society in two Florida cities and hopes to use that connection to continue its growth.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to get involved in Colors of Cancer Awareness, reach out to Stacyann Sinclair by email at Staceyann.email@example.com.