Walking for a cure: CatWalk raises more than $20K

By Danielle Rideau
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Monday, October 10, 2005

Ovarian cancer research target of charity walk

The UA and Tucson communities walked to raise money for ovarian cancer research at yesterday's fifth annual CatWalk hosted by Greek Life programs.

CatWalk, which used to be an exclusively greek event to raise money for the Bobbi Olson Endowment Fund, was open to the entire Tucson community in hopes of raising more money, said Sarah Miller, vice president of programming in the Panhellenic Association.

The CatWalk, which raised more than $20,000, was kicked off with a speech from UA men's basketball head coach Lute Olson, who started the endowment for his late wife Bobbi, who died of ovarian cancer in 2001.

Olson thanked the 1,000 attendees and told them that by participating in the walk, they were directly contributing to cancer research.

In the past four years, CatWalk has raised more than $40,000 for the fund, which goes to research at the Arizona Cancer Center, Olson said.

Olson stressed the importance of early detection of ovarian cancer because more than 75 percent of cases aren't discovered until they are in the third stage, which is why it is referred to as the "silent killer," he said.

He urged the attendees to exercise daily and maintain a healthy diet to prevent cancer.

After Olson's speech, he and the UA men's basketball team led the 2-mile walk through campus, which started and ended on the UA Mall.

UA men's basketball guard Daniel Dillon said he participated because he is passionate about finding a cure for cancer because the disease has affected people in his life.

Jennifer Bragman, a psychology junior, said she walked with her sorority members because she enjoys participating in this type of philanthropy because someone in her family has had cancer.

"I love doing philanthropic events," Bragman said "I also wanted to participate because my grandma had breast cancer, and I want to help find a cure."

Once the walk ended, the participants reconvened on the Mall for the check presentation.

Olson delivered a closing speech and said this year CatWalk had the largest turnout with 1,000 participants. Olson said he was thankful of everyone who participated and was proud so many people took the opportunity to help donate to cancer research.

After Olson's speech, organizers Miller and J.R. Allen, a psychology senior, presented the $20,100 check to a representative from the Arizona Cancer Center.