Campaign to raise awareness for pediatric cancer will host final event on Thursday

The Ducks With Purpose campaign members are (left to right) Mariah Swift, Chandler Baker, Kate Miller, Lily Gordon and Hannah Oakley. (Courtesy of Ducks with Purpose)

A competitive public relations team at the University of Oregon is wrapping up its campaign, which advocates for better pediatric cancer treatments, on Thursday after four months of events.

The “Duck With Purpose: Dream It. Do It. With Purpose” Campaign is the UO School of Journalism and Communication’s Bateman Competition campaign. The goal is to raise awareness to the lack of safe and effective cancer treatments for kids.

On Thursday, the Ducks With Purpose Campaign will host its final event, “Party With Purpose” in Straub 156 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

The event will feature live music, free pizza, guest speakers (cancer survivors and cancer treatment researchers) and an opportunity to join the “Be the Match” National Bone Marrow Registry. This team’s final event is also on the last day that the campaign will be implemented.

“We want to unite students in the fight against childhood cancer through empowering them to use their voices and create a universal awareness about the lack of funding for childhood cancer research,” said Hannah Oakley, a member of UO’s campaign team. “Without this awareness, there will be little to no progress in treatments.”

Only 4 percent of the $5 billion National Cancer Institute (NCI) cancer research budget is granted for pediatric-specific cancer research, according to the NCI’s website.

Founded in 1973, the Bateman Competition is a national competition for students who are members of the Public Relations Student Society of America. The competition runs from November to March and over 70 universities participate.

UO’s team is made up of four seniors: Hannah Oakley, Chandler Baker, Kate Miller, and Mariah Swift; and one junior, Lily Gordon.

Each university’s team organizes a campaign in which the goal is to raise awareness for their client. The UO team’s client is a pediatric cancer research advocacy organization called, “With Purpose.”

With Purpose is a nonprofit organization started by Erin Benson within the last five years. “With Purpose began as an idea to allow young adults to integrate charitable giving into their existing social patterns and routines,” according to the Bateman Competition brief about the organization.

So far since mid-February, Ducks With Purpose has spoken to journalism classes, clubs, tabled at a men’s basketball game, passed out stickers and “Ducks With Purpose” swag at Fishbowl Friday’s, partnered with Rennie’s Trivia Night, passed out candy on Random Acts of Kindness Day, worked with Instagram and Twitter influencers, conducted a UO SOJC Twitter takeover, and tabled at We Are PR night, according to Oakley.

“The goal of our campaign is to encourage students to speak out in support of this cause,” Oakley said.

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