Mac Athletes Care raise over $5,400 for the Juravinski Cancer Center

Each year at McMaster University, many athletes from different sports around the school unite to strengthen the athletic charitable efforts with Mac Athletes Care.

This past week, their objective was to help promote awareness and fundraise for the Think Pink initiative — an annual project surrounding the battle against breast cancer. 

Briana Da Silva, a field hockey player and member of Mac Athletes Care who has been active in the Think Pink initiative, spoke about the organization.

“The Think Pink campaign is all about raising funds and spreading awareness around breast cancer. In some way or another cancer has impacted all of us and it is beyond important for us to do what we can. Typically Think Pink would have a wide range of running events, from bake sales and raffles to spikeball tournaments and shoot for the cure,” said Da Silva. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has cast difficult times on many during the pandemic. Many organizations inside and outside of McMaster had to undergo serious change in order to keep running successful operations.

In wake of the pandemic, the Think Pink initiative looks much different than in previous years. In-person event programming has become a well-known fixture of Think Pink week. However due to limitations brought by COVID-19, this had to change.

“Since we cannot fundraise or have in-person events, we had to switch everything completely virtual. This limited the options of events we could host and online engagement tends to be lower than in person,” added Da Silva.

“Since we cannot fundraise or have in-person events, we had to switch everything completely virtual. This limited the options of events we could host and online engagement tends to be lower than in person,” added Da Silva.

Megh Rathod, a men’s rugby player and active participant in the annual event, discussed some of the hardships the organization has undergone recently, with the pandemic being one of two tragic events to have happened to Mac Athletes Care. 

“It’s been a challenge as well because we don’t really have a staff sponsor or supervisor this year. . . The second challenge is what can we do in terms of the initiative. Usually, we rely on people being able to spare a couple dollars at the David Braley Athletic Centre, but we realized that with COVID, money might be a bit more of a constraint and it would be more difficult to get one or two dollar donations through an online platform,” said Rathod.

As such, the Mac Athletes Care team realized that an information campaign was more suited for this year, given the initiative being run online.

“We built an awareness campaign. That was something that we didn’t really cover much in the past. This year we shifted information to be more when you should get screened, or who should be concerned, breast cancer and its prevalence and some statistics to inform individuals and begin that conversation. It was a new addition this year that we hope to carry forward . . . Last year we were really successful in raising $5,400, usually because we can really take advantage of DBAC and the facilities and the in-person traffic and we usually set up tables there over the week,” said Rathod.

As effective and important as awareness can be, the club understands the importance of raising funds to put towards the Juravinski Cancer Center and has continued to attempt fundraising. 

“With things looking a little differently this year, we are selling masks and t-shirts through the campus store and the proceeds will go towards Juravinski Hospital and Cancer Centre Foundation. On our Instagram page, we have some neat infographics and there is also the virtual “shoot for the cure” happening as well,” said Da Silva. 

Cancer is a hard fought battle that many have unfortunately lost to and although individual efforts might not be enough to cure the vicious disease, each contribution makes a difference, taking a step closer to the end goal. 

The ongoing pandemic has made things more difficult for the Think Pink initiative, but Mac Athletes Care hasn’t given up and is ready to keep battling this together.

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