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Students cuddle up to bear fund-raiser

| Sunday, Oct. 13, 2002

Butler County Community College students are raising money for a beary good cause.

Ava Smith, a coordinator for the BC3 Bearfest 2002 concert Oct. 18, said all money raised will go to childhood cancer research.

"Basically, the whole thing started with Rachael Thomas. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her knee when she was 17. She was in chemotherapy for about a year," Smith said.

Thomas could not be reached for comment. Thomas, who is a graphic design student, designed the Rachael Bear, with the Charity Bear Co., when she was 17.

"The bear was her idea. She designed the bear, and they sold for about $10 each," Smith said. "The money goes to the Katie's Fund for Childhood Cancer Research."

Smith said the college's Graphic Design Club decided to raise money for the cause.

In addition to selling bears, the club is sponsoring a charity concert featuring the bands Yigga Digga and Deuce, a KISS tribute band.

"They're donating their time," Smith said. "Everything has been totally donated. One of our stipulations was that we were not able to spend any money."

Most of the organizers are from the Graphic Design Club.

Smith is in her third semester and will graduate in May.

Whether the fund-raiser will continue next year still is up in the air.

"We're not sure yet (whether it will continue)," Smith said. "They kind of wanted us to do it again next year on our own. Some of the girls who are going to help us out this year will be there next year."

Smith said tickets at the door will cost $12. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. in the Butler County Community College Convocation Center in Butler Township.

The concert starts at 6 p.m. and runs until 9:30 p.m.

Rachael Bears will be sold for $10 at the Bearfest.

Maggie Watson, another organizer, said a wide variety of items will be available to bid upon in a Chinese auction.

"We have gift certificates for different restaurants in the area — Garfields, Texas Roadhouse, the Clubhouse; places like Etched in Glass," she said. "Waldenbooks gave us a bunch of stuff and individual people have donated things as well."

Smith said the auction will feature donations from 20 to 25 different companies.

A ticket to the Chinese auction also is an automatic entry into a drawing to win a two-night stay at the Econolodge in Hampton.

Watson said the efforts to raise awareness of the event have gone beyond the Butler County campus.

"We have gone on the radio. We got the word out," she said. "We've gone to different clubs, and we put up fliers around Butler and Cranberry."

How to help


To donate gifts, refreshments or money to help with Bearfest 2002, call Ava Smith at (724) 625-6247.

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