By Miles Rosen
If you walk up and down Franklin Street this month and go to local businesses, you may actually be donating money to fight cancer, and didn’t even know it.
Lineberger Cancer Center, the cancer care center at UNC, is holding a month-long fundraiser in Chapel Hill called Turn the Town Pink, a program in which many local businesses participated in during October.
Mary Seagroves, the special events coordinator for Lineberger, said the program raises a lot of awareness for the center, and many people who are not involved with Lineberger are doing their part by becoming patrons of these businesses.
“People don’t realize that we have a nationally recognized cancer center right here in Chapel Hill,” Seagroves said. “We wanted to reach out to the community.”
To raise money, businesses in the area donate a portion of their proceeds on certain days to the center.
“About 50 businesses are participating,” Seagroves said. “Some have just signed up to paint their store fronts in support, but others are participating all months long and are selling pink ribbons with the label ‘Tickled Pink’.”
One of these businesses is the Mediterranean Deli, located on West Franklin Street, which set up two dates during the month of October where a portion of their earnings went to the cause. The owner of Med Deli, Jamil Kadoura, stressed that giving back to the area is important for businesses.
“Paying back to the community is something that every business should do,” Kadoura said, whose restaurant also made generous donations to relief in Haiti and Pakistan.
Kadoura said that when donations are involved, his customers are much more inclined to buy something because a part of their money is going to a good cause.
“You make the call, you put out a flyer, some people eat twice in the same day to support the cause,” Kadoura said. “The credit needs to go to the people who participate in our cause.”
Kadoura also hopes that eventually his restaurant’s actions will spread to other organizations.
“These donations are not just for one day, it’s a continuation,” Kadoura said. “These [efforts will] carry on to other businesses, and eventually the whole community will be helping us.”
The hosts of the fundraiser also held special events on specific days during October. For example, Fast Break with Roy was on Oct 15, which hosted a number of celebrity guests at the Dean Dome, along with Roy Williams raise over $125,000.
“This is Roy’s seventh year hosting this event,” Seagroves said. “Last year he hit his million dollar mark.”
The final event that Lineberger is hosting will be a dinner benefit at Top of the Hill on Oct. 28, and Seagroves hopes it will raise around $50,000.
There will be a Turn the Tailgate Pink theme on Oct 30, as the UNC football team faces William and Mary. Students who are going can help support cancer research and care by dressing in pink and painting their cars.
To donate directly to the cause or get involved with the Lineberger center, visit their website: www.cancer.unc.edu/tickledpink/.