On Oct. 21, Fernando Uribe, an adjunct professor in the College of Communication and the Arts, held his annual breast cancer awareness event in Son Cubano, N.J. to raise money to benefit the American Cancer Society (ACS). He raised $5,172.
Uribe, of the College of Communication and the Arts, created the event “A Professor’s Quest To Save Breasts” in 2008. Since then, he has hosted it every October, the same weekend of the Making Strides Walk in Jersey City, N.J.
Aside from participating in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Uribe felt he could do more. He took a chance hosting this event, even though he was unsure what type of turnout it would have or the amount of funds he would be able to collect, he said.
“Philanthropy was always an important component of my life as my parents taught me early on about the importance of helping others,” Uribe said. “During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered in numerous philanthropic activities. As I continued with my studies in Graduate School, I developed the idea of hosting an annual event to raise awareness about breast cancer.”
During Uribe’s childhood, he said his parents instilled the values of how important it was to be an upstanding member of the community and to contribute to humanity in the most positive way possible.
“My parents reminded me that helping others is one of the most fulfilling things we can do as citizens and it is our duty to promote as much good in the world as we can,” he said.
The event featured raffles where various prizes were available and an annual Date Auction which helps raise a significant amount of funds.
On campus, one way to get involved with the ACS is through Colleges Against Cancer (CAC), which is a nationwide collaboration of college students, faculty and staff dedicated to saving lives from cancer.
Nathan Schmid, a junior biology major and the President of CAC, took one of Uribe’s classes and said he regularly spoke about his efforts to raise money for cancer, sharing difficulties he has faced and the support he’s received.
“I think what he’s doing is incredible and I admire his dedication to the ACS,” Schmid said. “His philanthropic events speak to his character and set him apart as a professor.”
Uribe is a Pacesetter, which is an award bestowed to those who raised $2,500 or more for the ACS.
“I have received the award in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015,” Uribe said. “My efforts have produced $23,443 for the American Cancer Society.”
Uribe is passionate about this philanthropy because he has seen the dedication by the ACS to help people and their families as they cope with a difficult diagnosis.
“It inspires me to volunteer my time and help make a difference for those battling breast cancer,” Uribe said.
In addition to volunteering and hosting this event for ACS, Uribe also hosts an event to benefit March of Dimes, which is dedicated to helping families deal with premature babies.
“I also host an annual toy drive every December to benefit local children during the holiday season,” he said.
Overall, philanthropy has been an important part of Uribe’s life, which he takes pride in.
“I am hopeful this will inspire readers to become involved in charity and see firsthand how gratifying it can be,” Uribe said.
Rebecca White can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.