Screen Shot 2018-10-02 at 4.00.02 PMBy Olivia Montes

Elm Staff Writer

For decades, the race to cure childhood cancer has hit many obstacles, with one of the largest being the lack of funds.

Here at Washington College, a new program has emerged to help not only fundraise for the cause, but to help bring smiles to children’s faces.

WAC-Out Childhood Cancer is a new student-led organization dedicated to fundraising for the cure for children afflicted with cancer, according to sophomore Nicolina Capitanio,  the president and founder of the group.

“Hearing stories about the tolls childhood cancer has on both the kids and their families made me really want to help,” she said. “These kids will be leading our country in the future, and we want to help them out in any way.”

“We definitely plan on raising money to fund cancer research, as well as to help support low income families,” said sophomore Jennifer Shabrach, who is acting as the honorary secretary and co-founder.

“We’re also aiming to try to visit hospitals to help the kids feel better, both physically and emotionally,” she said.

The opportunity to help support affected children and their families financially and emotionally is what drew member sophomore Ethan O’Malley to the organization.

“I decided to be a part of WAC-Out Childhood Cancer because I wanted to give back to the community and positively impact the lives of children in need,” he said. “The organization is totally committed to giving back — there is really no way I couldn’t join.”

Though WAC-Out is only just getting off its feet, the program has big plans and is determined to establish itself as a positive inspiration and force within the college and the Chestertown community.

At the Student Government Association Senate meeting on Sept. 18, a motion was passed to make WAC-Out a formally recognized fundraising Student Interest Group on campus.

“We plan on extending this program very far. We want to make ourselves known, and we definitely want to make ourselves big,” Shabrach said.

“The goal [with WAC-Out] is to help these families through actual fundraising events,” Capitanio said. “We want to encourage students to come out and volunteer — even if it’s just for a little bit, we just want them to have the opportunity to give back.”

In addition to raising awareness for childhood cancer as a whole, O’Malley expressed his desire to bring joy to children through individual interactions.

“I would be thrilled if we had students come out for a visit even once a semester because it means the world to the children going through it, and it can make us students reevaluate our own perspectives on life,” he said.

Students interested in joining should contact Nicolina Capitanio at ncapitanio2@washcoll.edu.

The Elm

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