By Christina Lambert
Eight student comedians will be performing in the Underground as part of UMW’s annual Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s event on Friday Oct. 15.
Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s was founded by breast cancer survivor Michelle Thomas as a fundraising organization to raise money for breast cancer research and to spread awareness. Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s hosts comedy shows across the country and gives donations and proceeds from ticket sales to various breast cancer organizations.
This semester UMW is giving proceeds to Network of Strength, a breast cancer organization that specializes in helping survivors get back on their feet.
“We thought it would be a good way to help patients,” said senior Chris Vellucci, who is planning the event and will be performing in the show.
The event began at UMW in fall 2008 by alumni Bryan Keyes, who will be returning this year to participate in the show.
The Underground Planning Committee (UPC) is already busy planning the event, with rehearsals, posting fliers around campus and working with the student-run organization VOX. Members of VOX have been assisting with advertising as well as soliciting donations from local businesses.
Vellucci has also contacted Thomas to ask her to help design t-shirts that will be sold the night of the event for around $10 with proceeds going to Networks of Strength.
In addition to the comedy show, the UPC is holding a bra drive to collect new or lightly-used bras to donate to survivors of breast cancer. They have been contacting bra recyclers and putting “bra boxes” in all of the residence halls.
There are also donation boxes in the Underground and the OSACS office in the basement of Seacobeck for commuting students to drop off any bras they want to donate.
On the day of the event the bras that have been collected will be strung around campus as a statement to raise awareness of breast cancer. During the show bra donations will be collected at the Underground.
“Our goal is to get as many [bras] as possible so we can string them around campus,” said senior Abby Kimmitt, who is also planning and performing in the show.
“We want to see how long we can make the chain.”
Stringing bras around campus echoes a breast cancer awareness event where bras were strung around the National Mall in Washington D.C. Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s marks the first time bras will be strung around campus, however.
Aside from collecting bra donations, the UPC is encouraging students to donate to Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s by offering a bingo incentive. During the weekly Wednesday night games at the Underground, students who donate a bra or one dollar will get a second bingo card.
Around $500 and 150 bras were collected last year, during the first ever bra donation drive at UMW. This year event coordinators are hoping for even more participation from students.
“We have a 65/35 [female to male] ratio on this campus, so hopefully we’ll get bras,” said Kimmitt.
Junior Olivia Snider, who has been helping plan Ha Ha’s for Ta Ta’s with VOX, also hopes to see a big bra turnout.
“It’s not that hard to throw [a bra] in a bin,” said Snider. “I’m sure a lot of people have bras that don’t fit.”