Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity members have dyed their hair pink Monday in recognition of October’s breast cancer awareness month.
Cameron Douglas, the president of Alpha Phi Alpha said, last year was their first “Pink hair, We Care,” event, which garnered $250 in donations to the cause. He said the organization is working on making the fundraiser an annual event.
Douglas said the fundraiser hits close to home for many of the members because they know someone who has been personally affected by the disease, which is why it is such an important cause to many of the members.
Breast cancer not only affects women, but men as well so this is a way to bring awareness and educate both women and men about the issue, Douglas said.
One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime, with an estimated 2,150 men expected to be diagnosed with the disease, according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“We want (people) to really care about this,” Douglas said.
Douglas said men in the fraternity are expected to dye their hair pink and keep it like that publically, but if any of the members have long hair they should only dye the tips.
He said last year there was a hierarchy quota that members needed to fill, which was represented like a pyramid. Depending on who and what members did outside of the organization determined how high they were up on the pyramid.
Douglas said the more prestigious the member, the larger dollar quantity needed to be filled and once full, that member would shave their head. However, if that member was surpassed by a larger dollar amount then the next person on the hierarchy must shave their head saving the member on the lower tier.
Douglas said this was a success because they had members of their fraternity with long hair in the past whom people wanted to see with shorter hair, so students are encouraged to donate more to see that member with shorter hair.
He said the members will also hand out pink ribbons to students while educating those on breast cancer facts, especially the men, because many don’t know they can contract the disease.
“This can happen to (men) too, but at a (smaller) rate,” Douglas said.
Entering their second year of the fundraiser, Douglas said they are trying to reach out to other organizations and spread the word. This year’s goal is to raise $400, which will all go to the Sarah Bush Breast Cancer Awareness Center.
“We just want the younger and older women to be aware,” Douglas said.
Roberto Hodge can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]