URI student group plans a Pink Out at URI-UMASS basketball game

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KINGSTON, R.I. — January 19, 2007 — While the fans at the University of Rhode Island’s home games usually don Keaney blue attire, next week the Rams hope to see the stands full of pink.

The URI Athletics Department is holding what they’ve called a “Pink Out,” to raise breast cancer awareness and donate funds to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation to support research for treatments. URI student-athletes will be selling T-shirts before and during the men’s basketball game against the University of Massachusetts at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 24.

The shirts will be sold for $5 each on Monday, Jan. 22 through Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at booths in the Memorial Union and at the “Pink Out” event Jan. 24th in the Ryan Center lobbies until half-time. All the money collected will be presented to the foundation at half time of the game.

The Pink Out has been organized and coordinated by URI senior Elizabeth Lyons of Charlestown, a fashion merchandising major with a minor in business, who is also a four-year member of the Rhody track and field team. “I think it will be very moving to see a ‘sea of pink’ in the stands on Wednesday night in support of those affected by breast cancer. I am looking forward to being able to contribute to the awareness of this terrible form of cancer as well as being able to raise monetary support.

I couldn’t be more pleased with the response from both our student-athletes and other campus organizations. Everyone has been so willing to help, its really encouraging,” she added.

Lyons said she originally hoped to raise $2,500, but now thinks she’ll be able to donate more than double that amount. “If we sell all of the shirts, in addition to funds we’ve received from sponsors, we’ll be able to donate about $7,000 to the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation.”

Gem Plumbing and Heating, based in Lincoln, is owned by the Gemma brothers whose mother died after her battle with breast cancer. In 2004, they created the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Resource Foundation in her honor. The foundation provides help to breast cancer organizations in their fight to raise breast cancer awareness and to bring help and comfort to the patients and families in our community that are suffering from this disease. All of the net proceeds remain in the local community and Gem donates a portion of the proceeds from every service call to the Foundation.

The honorary coach for the UMASS game, Linda Welters, professor and Textiles, Fashion Merchandising and Design department chair, will be sporting her Pink Out shirt. “I applaud the effort made by the students to support breast cancer research. I recall reading the moving story of Gloria Gemma’s struggle with breast cancer in the local press and I like that the funds are going to a foundation within the state,” said Welters.

Lyons said she is grateful for the support of the event. “Soooo many individuals and organizations have offered their help. I’m very blessed to be able to be a part of something that will positively effect so many people and their struggles with breast cancer.”