The San Jacinto College Geo Jacs geography club will be accepting donations for their “Nickel Day” fundraiser on March 2 at the San Jacinto College South Campus, with a portion of the donations benefitting MD Anderson Cancer Center. Pictured left to right: (Bottom row) Jose Guzman, Ross White, and Ashley McGinness. (Top row) Jade Bailey, Kim Tran, Eileen McGinness, Jim Dillon, and Maria Borche. Photo submitted.
Saving lives a nickel at a time
Andrea Vasquez -- March 1, 2013
HOUSTON – How do geology and cancer research fit together? Leave it to San Jacinto College geography instructor and Geo Jacs faculty advisor, Estela Turbiville, to bring them together.
While developing annual fundraising ideas, Turbiville and student members of Geo Jacs, a geology student club on the San Jacinto College South Campus, wanted to raise funds for the organization, and donate a portion of the funds to the community. After discussing a few causes and organizations, the one thing they all had in common was that everyone, in one way or another, had a friend or relative affected by cancer. The student club unanimously voted to support The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
“We all have very personal reasons to support MD Anderson with our fundraiser,” said Turbiville. “My brother was recently diagnosed with Stage IV renal cancer and there are few options as far as chemo and targeted therapies available for those with kidney cancer. The club president, Ashley McGinness, has a family member currently receiving treatment from MD Anderson. We also learned that the previous club president’s mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer and is also receiving treatment from MD Anderson.”
Turbiville also used demographics of Houston and surrounding areas to incorporate geography into their fundraising idea. She concluded that the population of Houston and a few surrounding areas including Sugar Land and Baytown include at least 6 million people. If each of those people donated at least one nickel, that would mean at least $300,000 raised for cancer research. With that concept, Geo Jacs created this year’s fundraiser, “Nickel Day.” With a goal to receive at least 1 million nickels, students are hoping to create awareness of their mission to educating others about geography education and its importance in a global market, fund student scholarships, as well as the on-going fight against cancer and funding for life-saving research.
“I have two personal connections to MD Anderson Cancer Center,” said Geo Jacs president and San Jacinto College student, Ashley McGinness. “My grandfather passed away from squamous cell carcinoma lung cancer, and his son, my uncle, worked at MD Anderson in the 1970s as the top physician researching melanin and cisplatin therapy. I wanted to help continue research for future treatments and cancer awareness.”
Students from the San Jacinto College Geo Jacs club will accept donations on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the South Campus parking lots P8 and P9A, along Beamer Road. The South Campus is located at 13735 Beamer Road in Houston. For more information on donation opportunities, contact Estela Turbiville at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. The Achieving the Dream Leader College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of 30,000 students in more than 200 degree and certificate options, including university transfer and career preparation. Students also benefit from the College’s job training programs, renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $630 million each year to the Texas workforce. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
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