|Connor House Honored for Outstanding Support of Breast Cancer Research Charity
November 11, 2009
By Emily Matras '12
The women of Connor Eating House recently received quite an honor for their commitment to service. Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test, Connor's partner organization, named a $40,000 research grant in honor of the house to recognize Connor's efforts in raising money and awareness for breast cancer research. In Friends' 14-year history, this is only the fifth time it has named a grant after a specific organization.
|A group of Connor members at last year's Bosom Buddies event (l-r) Tessa Campbell'11, Bri Pearson '11, Casie Genetti '11, Veronica Thomas '11, Liza Winship '11, Sarah Filipski '09 and Molly Duncan '11.
Connor's flagship service project is "Bosom Buddies," an annual fundraising dinner whose proceeds go to Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test. Last year "Bosom Buddies" raised more than $35,000.
Planning for each year's event requires tireless work securing food, soliciting donations, and booking speakers. "Connor has many personalities, but we all come together for this," said house president Caroline Vaughan '10. "We had 156 girls in Connor last year, and each one had a hand in making our service so successful. It's really special that we can come together and pull this off."
Connor's board members were thrilled when they learned of the honor. "We found out the day we did Race for the Cure in Charlotte with Circle Up, a support organization of survivors friends and family with whom we work," said service committee co-chair Annaliese Rosenthal '10. "It seemed like a perfect ending to an already great day. We all felt really inspired by all the amazing survivors at the race to keep fighting against this terrible disease, and this honor only further encouraged us in that goal."
"Knowing that the money that Bosom Buddies raises goes to a specific research grant really helps to motivate us," explained Sarah Troutman '10, Connor's other service chair. "It makes the fundraising goal more tangible for everyone. It is also so great for a Davidson College Patterson Court Council organization to have such close ties and to gain recognition from a non-Davidson organization."
Several Connor House representatives were invited to attend Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test's annual luncheon in Greensboro, N.C., on October 15. The Connor women were invited on stage and honored in front of the 800 other guests, including keynote speaker Elizabeth Edwards.
Connor Eating House shares the name of the research grant with Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority of UNC-Chapel Hill. The two organizations were chosen in part because, together, their service efforts raised in excess of the equivalent of one $40,000 research grant last year alone.
The importance of Friends For An Earlier Breast Cancer Test's mission is understood and embraced by the women of Connor. "Women often don't think about getting a mammogram until they are in their forties, which is troubling because the best hope for recovery is early detection," said house President Vaughan. "As young women, it's important for us to start now."
Planning for the next "Bosom Buddies" event on February 20, 2010 has been underway for two months already, according to Vaughan. Committees have already been formed to explore options for food, entertainment, and speakers. "We have a lot to live up to because we have been so successful in the past two years," said Troutman. "Our goal for this year is to raise more than $30,000 for the third year in a row."
Last year, Connor House raised more money for charity than all the other Davidson PCC organizations combined. For these women, dedication to service is an integral part of eating house membership.
"Committing to service now sets a precedent for the rest of our lives," said Vaughan. "We are privileged, attending this school where we are provided with so much. It's important to be grateful and give back."
Rosenthal echoed a similar sentiment: "So many people-our parents, friends, professors and relatives-have invested so much in each one of us that I really do believe we have an obligation to share our skills and talents with others. I am consistently impressed by not only the many talents of my fellow students, but also by their compassion and commitment to service."
The recent honor from their partner organization has reenergized the women of Connor and their philanthropic efforts. Explained Vaughan: "It affirms that we are more than just a social organization."
Davidson is a highly selective independent liberal arts college for 1,800 students located 20 minutes north of Charlotte in Davidson, N.C. Since its establishment in 1837 by Presbyterians, the college has graduated 23 Rhodes Scholars and is consistently regarded as one of the top liberal arts colleges in the country. Through The Davidson Trust, the college became the first liberal arts institution in the nation to replace loans with grants in all financial aid packages, giving all students the opportunity to graduate debt-free. Davidson competes in NCAA athletics at the Division I level, and a longstanding Honor Code is central to student life at the college.