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Murray State fraternities partnered with Murray community for Men in Pink campaign

Photo provided by the Men in Pink Facebook page
2023 Men in Pink participants with Martha Andrus, Donna Herndon and Jerry Penner.

Murray State fraternities have teamed up with 11 other men in the Murray community to participate in the third Men in Pink campaign.

During October, four Murray State fraternities – Lambda Chi Alpha, Pi Kappa Alpha, Sigma Phi Epsilon and Alpha Sigma Phi – campaigned to bring awareness to breast cancer.  This is the third year that this local campaign has taken place in Murray and the second year the universities fraternities have contributed. 

These men wore pink for the month of October and took to social media to get their followers to donate to Murray’s Regional Cancer Center. 

Lisa Shoemaker, the senior philanthropy officer at Murray-Calloway County Hospital, is overseeing this campaign. Shoemaker said she is excited for the reveal of the grand total at the end of the month.  As the philanthropy officer, her role at the hospital is to oversee the fundraising.

The first year raised $100,000, and the second year raised $120,000.

Men in Pink is the biggest charity fundraiser held by Murray-Calloway County Hospital. 

This campaign first started when men in the Murray community participated in the Men Wear Pink campaign in association with the American Cancer Society and wanted to do the same thing in association with the  Regional Cancer Center here in Murray.  The new Regional Cancer Center opened earlier this year. 

Isaac Smith, a member of the Pike fraternity and the chosen “Man in Pink” to represent  it, will be participating in his second Man in Pink campaign. Smith volunteered within his fraternity to be the Man In Pink as he has a history with breast cancer within his family. This is the second consecutive year that Smith and his fraternity brothers have participated and has also been the face of Pi Kappa Alpha’s breast cancer awareness campaign. 

“When we received the email from the hospital last year asking if we would want to be involved I brought it up to the chapter, and everyone couldn’t wait to help out,” Smith said. “I would say in our chapter, around 90% of our brothers have known someone or have had someone in their family be affected by breast cancer. For me personally, my grandmother is actually a breast cancer survivor, so I was beyond excited to be the face for our campaign. Knowing the money we are helping raise is going to the Regional Cancer Center here in Murray, Kentucky, is something that also means a lot to our brothers.”  

Pike’s Murray State chapter has been able to come up with several unique ways to raise money for the Men in Pink campaign the last two years. In 2022, Pike chapter partnered with the University of Tennessee-Martin chapter to run 50 miles from Martin to Murray for the Martin vs. Murray State football game. 

 For the 2023 campaign, the fraternity  decided to put together a charity golf scramble as  their “big blow out” to end the month. Throughout the month, Pike has put together rebate nights, blood drives, and other events in order  to help the cause.  According to the Men in Pink fundraising website, the Pikes raised more than $3,500.

 In 2023, the American Cancer Society projects 30,270 new breast cancer cases in Kentucky. 10,090 deaths from breast cancer are expected in Kentucky in 2023.  Kentucky has the highest occurrence and mortality rate in the United States.  

 A celebration dinner for the conclusion of the campaign will be held on Nov. 30th. All winners and the final total amount raised for the campaign will also be announced on this day.

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