September is pediatric cancer awareness month, and BuckeyeThon is making its mark off campus in the Columbus community.
The student-run philanthropy for pediatric cancer participated in the eighth-annual Easton Fashion Night for the first time Friday in an effort to expand its reach to the Columbus community.
“Right now, we’re pigeon-holed on Ohio State’s campus, and we haven’t had an opportunity to have an open forum to tell people who would never come to Ohio State to interact with us,” Bill Tucker, vice president of advancement for BuckeyeThon and fourth-year in human resources, said.
Easton Fashion Night is part of Columbus Fashion Week, hosted by Easton Town Center in October. Various fashion and beauty brands set up booths along the center and fashion models in stilts and dresses strutted down the plaza sidewalks promoting their brands.
BuckeyeThon was among the vendors at the event, but its goal was different.
“We kind of jumped at the opportunity to do this and talk about our cause with people who wouldn’t normally interact with our organization,” Tucker said. “We’re trying to expand our partnerships throughout Columbus.”
Theresa and Kristin Oliphant, who BuckeyeThon calls an “angel family” — a term reserved for families who have lost a child to pediatric cancer — attended the event in support of the organization, Kristin Oliphant said.
“I definitely think its really cool for [BuckeyeThon] to be in such a popular area, and the amount of people who are coming to this event and have no idea who or what BuckeyeThon is, this is just a great way to get their name out there,” Kristin Oliphant said.
BuckeyeThon raises money for Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s pediatric cancer unit through an annual dance marathon every February in the Ohio Union. Last year, the organization raised $1.7 million, according to its website.
“I think people, they don’t realize the impact they can make by their donations or just being a part of something bigger than themselves,” Kristen said. “By being here tonight will be really cool for other people to gain insight and be a part of this amazing organization.”
Easton Fashion Night occurred just one week before BuckeyeThon Dance Marathon registration closes. The marathon will be held Feb. 7-8 with two 12-hour shifts and is open for all Ohio State students to participate or donate.