“I am interested in Irish Dancing. Irish Dancing was the bond my mom and I shared during her living years until she passed away from brain cancer. We would always go to competitions and spend time practicing and cheering me on. I have been competing in Irish Dancing for ten years at national and regional championships. During the championships, I never felt nervous. I was always calm and collected-more excited than nervous. I would train four hours a day and five days a week and we would have dance camps in the summer that would last 7 hours a day for a week straight. We did nothing but condition our bodies so we could stay active for a long period of time, practice and learn new routines, and dress rehearsals. We also have workshops that would be on Saturdays and they would involve one on one with our teachers and coaches. Sometimes during rehearsals they would invite professional Iris Dancers from Ireland and Australia to come teach us new steps and tricks. I stopped competing in Irish Dancing because I kept getting injured during my senior year of high school. I was preparing to go off to college and I wasn’t as good as I was when I was 14 and in my prime.”
Pink Pumpkin Party
As everyone arrived in their pink outfit they stood in line to receive their pumpkin to start painting Saturday Oct. 1, 2016 was special because it was Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
For Darlene Williams, October is a time to celebrate at the Pink Pumpkin Party. “After being diagnosed with breast cancer I missed the opportunity to attend the event (last year),” Williams said, “and today, I’m enjoying the event.”
Williams joined fellow survivors and their families at Augusta University’s J. Harold Harrison M.D. Education Commons as they decorated and carved pumpkins and competed in the best dressed in pink competition.
“The goal for the event is raise awareness for both men and women, and raise money to help local women receive mammograms,” Nurse Erin Chrisco stated.
“The Pink Pumpkin Party is about celebrating survival ship,” Kim Loomer, Cancer Survivor stated. “Survival ship is about focusing on the people that were diagnosed with breast cancer and survived,” she explained.
As the event came to an end, many people were extremely satisfied with their time at the party. Christine O’Meara, Director of the Party said the Pink Pumpkin Party was a success. “There were of many survivors who attended the event,” she said. Everyone was able to participate in painting a pumpkin.”
“It’s not just a fundraiser,” said David Hartman, Community Member. “It’s a new cultural event for Augusta.” For people who are interested in donating and did not make the event they will be able to donate online at https://giving.augusta.edu/donatepinkpumpkin.
Bianca Fortis Profile Story
Bianca Fortis is well-known for her reporting skills and she expresses her work through different media outlets. Dr. Kenney was excited one of his student were able to come visit and share her experience.
Bianca Fortis believes that storytelling is the way to connect to individuals. Fortis graduated from the University of Central Florida in 2010, and she spent her summer applying to multiple jobs in journalism. After searching, Fortis got a job as a senior reporter at The Chronicle Newspaper, in Centralia, Washington. While working, Fortis also did freelance writing to write what she wanted and make more money.
After being away from her family and friends she took a job as a research assistant to Wayne Barrett who was an investigative reporter. Fortis is the co-founder of Transborder Media, and spends her time working on a documentary film about U.S. Veterans who have been deported to Mexico.
Trying to get people to open up is difficult. Fortis tells how the issue of veteran deportation is easy to talk about because the veterans want to talk about it. “Some people don’t want to talk to you,” she said. “Just don’t make assumptions if someone will talk to you or not.” During her time as a writer for the Transborder Media she continued to do Freelance writing.
The veterans who committed a felony, were found guilty, would serve their sentence and were deported. Fortis did lots of investigation in order to write her stories. As a writer Fortis was always on the lookout for stories because other people can take them. Even though technology has taken over the media field, Fortis loves receiving her news through traditional media. When going for a new opportunity you have to make sure you know your skills, and you have to be able to do more than only one thing. “Issues are everywhere,” she said. “Read the news and keep your eyes open.”
Interview with Rachel Hyer
Rachel Hyer, Communications Major, Inside Reese Library