Siena Women's Basketball `Aware' Of Breast Cancer

Feb. 3, 2006

ALBANY, N.Y., February 3, 2006 - When the Siena Women's basketball team hosts Iona on Friday, February 10, winning won't be the only goal of the night. As part of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) membership-wide initiative, the game will create awareness and raise funds in support of breast cancer research and treatment.

The MAAC's ten women's teams have all designated one home game as part of the "MAAC Fights Back Against Breast Cancer". Locally, Siena is working with the Capital Region Action against Breast Cancer (CRAAB!). CRAAB! is a non-profit, community-based organization created in 1997 by a diverse group of survivors, volunteers and advocates, including co-founder the late professor Pat Brown of Siena College.

To show its support, the women's basketball players will wear a special pink t-shirt during pre-game warm-ups and all MAAC coaches will wear a pink ribbon throughout the event.

To honor area breast cancer survivors, each of Siena's 15 women's players will be introduced pre-game alongside a local survivor.

"We feel it is extremely important for women to be aware of breast cancer and to make it a priority in their day-to-day lives," said Siena Women's Head Coach Gina Castelli. "As a women's athletic program, we wanted to take a lead role in creating this awareness. It's an issue for all ages. It is also important as a campus to keep the spirit and memory of Pat Brown glowing bright."

Honoring Dr. Brown was a central theme of last year's game. A member of Siena's biology department for 35 years, she inspired colleagues and students with her passion for teaching and her endless energy to create change. Currently, Siena's development department is soliciting donations to establish an addition to the Morrell Science Center that will create an area for biology and other students to study, converse and relax. This student lounge and study area is being created in Dr. Brown's memory.

Siena's Sr. Thea Bowman Center for Women has been supporting CRAAB! since its inception in the fall of 2004. At last year's game, the Center sold pink breast cancer bracelets and raised $1,500 for CRAAB! This year, the Center will have available two distinct t-shirts available including one titled "Celebration of Courage".

The Center has also been able to energize and organize students on-campus towards this awareness program. The Center created breast cancer care packages for women going through breast cancer surgery (organic tote bags, organic Vermont soap, green tea, organic lip balm, boo-boo bunnies, etc.). These packages were funded in part by CD sales of a band called The Lift comprised of three Siena students (Michael Kelly, James Tumulty and Mathew Restivo). The trio raised over $1,000 to help underwrite the breast cancer care packages.

CRAAB! will also be holding a raffle and have an information table including a "Risk Reduction Strategies" display focused on how diet, exercise, personal care products and cosmetics and the environment impact the chances of breast cancer.

Girl Scout Troop #351 will be on hand selling cookies and other dessert delights at the game and CRAAB! will receive a portion of profits from those sales.

Addie's Trinkets, owned by breast cancer survivor Deborah Dasher-Knight, will also be at the game selling unique hats, costume jewelry and accoutrements. Fifty percent of the proceeds of each sale will benefit CRAAB!

Siena will also donate a portion of the ticket sales from the game to CRAAB! Adult fans who "Wear Pink" will pay only $5 for admission. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.