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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Fraternity hosts annual run for cancer research

Rebecca Marie Sasnett
Rebecca Marie Sasnett/ The Daily Wildcat Patrick Weber, junior systems engineering, Joseph Guldag, sophomore entrepreneurship and marketing major, Donta Bavis, sophomore criminal justice major, Oliver Fernandez, junior business major, and Steven Garland, freshman pre business major, sign letters for the Lute Olson Cancer Run in the Pi Kappa Alpha house Wednesday.

The brothers of Pi Kappa Alpha will host the annual Lute Olson Cancer Center Run this Saturday to raise money for women’s cancer research.

Formerly known as CATwalk, the run will take place at 8:30 a.m. with an 8K run followed by a 3K run at 10:30 a.m. on the UA Mall.

The run is held in memory of Bobbi Olson, the wife of former UA basketball coach Lute Olson, who died in 2001 from ovarian cancer.

The Fraternity and Sorority program office created the run to raise money for women’s cancer research for the UA Cancer Center. In the past eight years, the walk has raised about $550,000.

“CATwalk is Lute Olson’s effort, along with Arizona’s communities, to recognize the legacy of Bobbi Olson and to help fund research for a curable disease,” said Patrick Weber, the president of PIKE.

Businesses in the Tucson community help fundraise for the annual race, according to Weber.

The Fraternity and Sorority program office planned on eliminating the event last year in favor of a new philanthropy event, but PIKE took over the event with the help of Lute Olson.

PIKE was able to have a successful first year run in 2013, Weber said, gathering a couple hundred participants. This year, though, PIKE leaders hope to get even more people involved.

“This year, we’ve taken some of those lessons in marketing and outreach and really tapped into a [large] population of people,” Weber said. “It’s not tough to get people involved because cancer has affected everyone.”

“We are pretty close to excelling from last year. I mean, we’ve definitely raised a lot,” said Adam Spanier, physiology sophomore and member of PIKE. “This chapter has really kicked it to overdrive trying to raise money for [an event] that is dear to everyone around, especially Lute Olson.”

Esteban Robinson, a physiology sophomore and member of PIKE, said the fraternity has been trying to contact families affected by cancer.

“I tried to reach out to families or people I knew that had been affected by cancer,” Robinson said.
“Hopefully, we get a good turnout of people … and hopefully see smiling faces.”

PIKE has been working with Olson all year long to organize the event. Weber said that with just two days remaining until the run, they hope that they have appealed to the people of the Tucson community.

“Including the fundraising, the outreach, the volunteers, there are hundreds of people from many, many organizations and families that come together just to help put it on,” Weber said. “It really brings people together.”

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