Pageant promotes cancer awareness


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Senior Anthony Gavalas is crowned 2013 “Big Man on Campus”

Joshua Lloyd, Staff Writer

The ladies of Zeta Tau Alpha (ZTA) sorority held their annual Big Man on Campus
fundraiser pageant to support breast cancer awareness on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 29,
in the Chapman Auditorium where Anthony Gavalas, a senior biology major and member
of the Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) fraternity, was named “Big Man on Campus” for 2013.
According to Lindsay Smith, senior mass communication major and vice president of
FMU’s ZTA chapter, the event raised in $3,044 in donations that will go directly to the
ZTA Foundation’s ongoing efforts to promote awareness for breast cancer.
“Our overall goal was to raise $5,000…which we didn’t quite reach,” Smith said.
“But we have other fundraisers planned for next month and next semester to help us
reach that goal.”
Smith said ZTA’s philanthropy is to raise funds, promote education and increase
awareness to strengthen the fight against breast cancer and get the community to “think
Fifteen male contestants participated in the pageant. They competed in categories that
required the men to show off their “sexy legs,” present themselves in the attire of their
most influential woman, showcase their talent, do a formal wear showing and an
interview portion.
The sorority fundraises heavily during the month of October since it is nationally
recognized as breast cancer awareness month. However, the ZTA Foundation doesn’t
limit their philanthropy to just one month; they conduct fundraisers and events, both on
and off campus, throughout the year.
“We do ‘Think Pink Drink Pinks,’ which are bake sale/lemonade stands,” Smith said.
“We also do ‘Bras for a Cause,’ where we have organizations decorate bras and vote for
the best, which we’ll do next semester. We actually just went to a Carolina Panther’s
game to do a ‘Pink Out’ where pass out pink awareness ribbons to the crowd.”
On a national level, ZTA is partnered with several large corporations such as Yoplait,
the National Football League (NFL), the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, Lifetime
Television and Self Magazine, to spread awareness to college campuses across the nation.
“For example, the pink Yoplait lids…can be turned in for 10 cents per lid through
Yoplait or if we (ZTA) turn them in we get 15 cents back,” Smith said. “And that money
will go towards awareness.”
According to the ZTA Foundation’s website, the sorority has been an advocate of
breast cancer awareness since 1992. Over the years the organization has handed out over
10 million pink ribbons, over 11.1 million breast self-examination reminders and has
helped raise millions of dollars for the cause.
Big Man on Campus was partially funded by local businesses, organizations and
individuals who were willing to buy advertisements that were placed in the event’s
program booklet. Contestant entry fees, a spectator cover charge and shirt sales were also
factored into the event’s overall cost.