Fundraiser brings OUWB students together for fun and a good cause
An image of OUWB students at the bowling fundraiser
From left, Alexis Lonjin, Vincent Le, Brenda Bortis, and Brandon Butzin participate in the annual Strike Out Cancer bowling fundraiser on Nov. 10.

More than 20 medical students from Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine gathered for a fundraiser designed to help “strike” out cancer.

The Oncology Interest Group (OncIG) held its annual Strike Out Cancer bowling fundraiser on Nov. 10 at Avon North Hill Lanes.

All funds raised by OncIG will be donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – a nonprofit organization seeking to prevent and cure breast cancer. The organization also supplies funding for worldwide cancer research “to fuel advances in tumor biology, genetics, prevention, treatment, metastasis, and survivorship.”

Admission to the event included two hours of bowling, pizza, and drinks.

Alicia Bui, M2, president, OncIG, said the fundraiser is “a really fun event that anyone from the school can join – faculty, students, and their families.”

An image of OUWB students at the bowling fundraiser

From left, Vincent Le, Elena Ghezzi, Alexis Lonjin, Brenda Bortis, Joel Karsten, Kaitlyn Butzin, Brandon Butzin, Nathan Huang, and Neelesh Peddireddy.

“This is a social way to raise money and hang out, especially after M1 exams,” said Bui. “It’s a nice way for students to destress and bowl.”

Bui said this event is important to her due to her mom’s experience with breast cancer.

“Growing up we did a lot of fundraising events for her,” she added. “This is another way for me to contribute to the same cause and support breast cancer patients.”

Joel Karsten, M2, vice president, OncIG, said events like fundraisers are vital in creating passion in the medical field.

“Bowling is pretty fun and when you’ve got people invested in (fighting cancer), you can bring more people into it and share your experiences,” Karsten said. “We’re here to inspire that dedication and big events like this help with that.”

“We need to try to build a community to help fund the cancer initiatives that the group is interested in,” he said.

Trenton Reinicke, M1, said this was “a great opportunity to bring people together, not only as students who are interested in oncology but also for the community to raise funding for a disease like cancer.”

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“We want to be able to work and contribute to helping fight cancer and help our patients who are facing cancer in their daily lives,” he said.

Elena Ghezzi, M2, said a sense of togetherness is created when students come together to support breast cancer.

“A lot of us here have connections to people with breast cancer,” she added.

“It’s so important to stay connected with your peers when you come to medical school, and show you care for people who are living with certain conditions,” Ghezzi said.

Brenda Bortis, M2, said the fundraiser was also “a nice way to bond with classmates on a Friday night.”

“This is an easy way to bring medical students together and raise money – especially since we’re so busy,” said Bortis. “Just holding this tradition every year is great.”

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