The Diag played host Thursday to a carnival-style dunk tank, where passersby could soak members of Go Blue Think Pink, a student organization raising money for breast cancer awareness.
The event kicked off a weeklong effort coordinated by Sigma Alpha Mu fraternity, Sigma Delta Tau sorority and Hillel. The fundraiser culminates tonight in a Pink Party at Necto nightclub, and all the money raised will go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.
Organizers are also selling T-shirts and water bottles, and held a “yogathon” that was featured during ABC’s coverage of Satuday’s football game against Illinois.
LSA junior Arielle Jones, one of the event’s organizers and a member of SDT, said the yoga marathon was one of the many ways Go Blue Think Pink is uniting the University with the Ann Arbor community.
“There were three-year-old babies next to 20-year-old boys in pink T-shirts, both of them just so excited to do yoga on the Diag,” she said. “It gets people’s attention. Part of it is raising money and part of it is raising awareness.”
LSA junior Max Friedman, philanthropy chair of Sigma Alpha Mu, said he came up with the idea for the fundraiser his freshman year when he realized that there was no major philanthropy event on campus during October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness month.
Friedman’s initial idea was to wear pink shirts to a football game, but the idea soon expanded to a weeklong “blitz” on campus.
“I felt it was very important to me and it was one of those things where I wanted it to get done, so why not do it?” he said. “The slogan took off, and the success is an example of how important the cause is to the student body here at Michigan.”
Jones said it wasn’t hard to get other members of her sorority on board, because the cause is a familiar one.
“It’s the same reason that all these sponsors are so eager to help us out, because this is a cause that affects everyone,” she said. “If it’s not your mother, it’s your mother’s friend.”
Friedman said the success of last year’s campaign helped increase involvement in the event this year.
“There’s a big sense of pride that it’s a great cause and to be able to say that it’s our event, people get excited about that,” he said. “Non-Greek people, people of all different ages, have come up to me and asked how can they have a larger role in this event.”
Friedman said University alum and New York Mets owner Fred Wilpon visited with organizers over the weekend and made a large contribution. Jones said that she enjoyed giving alumni returning to campus a chance to see an active student body.
“It was really nice that this year it was on alumni weekend,” Jones said. “It’s nice for people to come back to campus and to see that it’s still alive and that students are still passionate about the cause.”
Although last year’s event was a success — it raised more than $12,000 — Friedman said he thinks this year’s campaign could be better.
“(Last year) we could only do so much — we could show up, and then after that it was up to the students to jump on board,” he said. “This year there was no reason to not think big, and I think we’ve pretty much matched almost any expectation so far.”