In the 2008-09 students were able to raise over $80,000 to reach the $1 million dollar mark for total donations to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund.
The Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive is recognized as the premiere charitable event of the year at Wake Forest. It is unique in that it is totally student initiated, and it mobilizes the entire campus community in a unified effort to raise awareness and monies for cancer research. The monies raised are donated to the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University.
The Brian Piccolo Cancer Drive was established by students in 1980 in memory of a great Wake Forest athlete/alum and Chicago Bears football star who died of cancer. The inaugural year of the drive brought in $3500, and each successive year has seen increases in both community involvement and monies raised. In the 2008-09 students were able to raise over $80,000 to reach the $1 million dollar mark for total donations to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund.
Through a series of fun and creative events, Wake Forest student organizations join together to promote student participation in the Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive. In recent years, the Brian Piccolo Cancer Drive Committee has identified “Hit the Bricks for Brian” (fall) and “Wake in Shake” Dance Marathon (spring) as the signature campus-wide events. Some of the other Piccolo events are: Chi Omega Auction, Birdies for Brian Golf Tournament and Pump Up for Piccolo.
Because of the advancements in medical research and treatment, today there is an 80 percent success rate for embryonal cell carcinoma, the type of cancer from which Brian Piccolo died in 1970 at the age of 26. The Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive is one of the few Wake Forest University efforts which join together the undergraduate college community with the medical school community in a common humanitarian enterprise–the fight against cancer.
“Wake Forest students are known for the way they embody in their lives and service our motto ‘Pro Humanitate’. For the past quarter of a century their commitment to the Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund has been a single example of the power of student leadership and organizational effort for the good. I could not be more proud of our students and the money they have raised for this very worthy cause.”
-Nathan O. Hatch
President, Wake Forest University