Casual, committed on breast cancer 'Denim Day'

October 12, 2008|By Cassandra A. Fortin | Cassandra A. Fortin,Special to The Baltimore Sun

During the summer, Melissa Campasino noticed an advertisement in a magazine for the Lee National Denim Day.

Started in 1996, Denim Day is a national fundraising effort for which people pay a small fee to have a casual dress day at work.

The proceeds benefit the fight against breast cancer.

"It seemed like a perfect service learning activity," said Campasino, who has been a mathematics teacher at Fallston High for the past 11 years. "And it involved something that is important to me. My mother is a breast cancer survivor."

When the school year started, she took the Denim Day idea to a brainstorming session, and the students and staff decided to try it.

"We realized that we're all affected by breast cancer," she said.

The Fallston students fine-tuned the fundraiser, and added ribbon and paper heart sales, and collected donations. The teachers pitted the pre-calculus class against the algebra II class, and implemented breast cancer statistics into math lessons, she said.

Fundraising efforts kicked off at Fallston High's homecoming game during which students collected about $350, she said.

Scott Holt, a senior, collected about $100 during lunch from students, he said.

"I wanted to help out," said Holt, 17, of Forest Hill. "And I think this is important. People need to be more aware of the problems other people have, and stop being so self-centered."

For about a week, the students raised money selling pink ribbons for $1, and paper hearts for 25 cents to 50 cents, to the faculty, staff, and about 1,450 students who attend the school. They set their goal at $2,000, and raised $2,344.55.

The fundraiser culminated with Denim Day on Oct. 3, during which more than half the school's students wore denim and pink.

Marissa Hyde, a senior at Fallston, has a grandmother who had breast cancer, and a close friend who has a mother with breast cancer, she said. She saw the activity as a way to help them, she said.

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