Susan G. Komen Nebraska and UNO partnering up

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October 11th, 2013

Omaha, NE – October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and there are several teams and businesses advocating early detection and preventative measures.

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Susan G. Komen for the Cure is helping in that effort. Started in 1982, it has invested more than $2 billion towards research and outreach programs. There are affiliates in 47 states and in more than 40 countries worldwide. Nebraska’s chapter has partnered with the University of Nebraska at Omaha’s athletic department this year to help raise money and mindfulness locally. Head volleyball coach Rose Shires said the partnership not only helps educate the public about the disease, it also helps bring the community together.

“We wanted to partner with Susan G. Komen because we think it is an outstanding organization,” Shires said. “UNO’s involvement in the community and our community engagement piece is really important to us so we wanted to partner with somebody that was local.”

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to Friday's game. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

Fans are encouraged to wear pink to Friday’s game. (Photo Courtesy KVNO News)

UNO will sell pink t-shirts and ribbons at tonight’s volleyball game against North Dakota State and fans are being asked to wear pink to the game. One hundred percent of the proceeds from t-shirt and ribbon sales will go to Susan G. Komen Nebraska. Also, Susan G. Komen Nebraska will have a table set up at the event with information. UNO is also reserving four seats each volleyball and hockey home game this year for breast cancer survivors and their families. Director of Community Relations at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, Pam Schwarting, said reaction to this has been remarkable.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response,” Schwarting said. “The seats have never gone empty yet so far. Every game we have four (seats) sometimes they will request more tickets for more of their family and friends to come with them. We just want to give back to those people in the community. “

Shires said her team is involved in community engagement individually, but they come together for an event like this because it means so much to so many people.

“Well, all of our team is involved in several ways, one obviously we will be wearing pink for this game,” Shires said. “We have several of our athletes who have had immediate family members, moms, sisters and aunts who have had breast cancer and are survivors of breast cancer. We will be honoring those people at our match. Then we are also working on raising money to support the foundation and to give back basically to the community.”

Just last Sunday Susan G. Komen for the Cure held their annual Nebraska 5k Race for the Cure at the CenturyLink Center Omaha. UNO had a booth set up at the event and their mascot, Durango, was also on hand with the Maverick cheerleaders. Schwarting said it was a great opportunity for the community to come together and not only promote cognizance but also for survivors to celebrate life.

“We’ve all been affected,” Schwarting said. “We saw a little kid he was probably five running his heart out down the finish line and on the back of his t-shirt it (read), and I am tearing up, I’m running for my Mom.”

UNO’s game with North Dakota State University is set for 7pm at the Sapp Fieldhouse.

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