The Grayson College campus was a lot more pink than usual on Tuesday morning, as students, staff, and local business leaders colored the college with the third annual "Just Doo it" breast cancer awareness fundraiser. Students and supporters are encouraged by the staff organizers to wear a "doo rag" on their heads in honor of breast cancer fighters and survivors.

The Grayson College campus was a lot more pink than usual on Tuesday morning, as students, staff, and local business leaders colored the college with the third annual "Just Doo it" breast cancer awareness fundraiser. Students and supporters are encouraged by the staff organizers to wear a "doo rag" on their heads in honor of breast cancer fighters and survivors.


Grayson staff attended rows of booths arranged outside the school’s cafeteria, offering pink accessories, clothing, and games for small donations. Gretchen Huff, job placement specialist at Grayson College said the goal of the event is to "bring awareness to breast cancer. It’s grown each year, and to get more students involved has really been our goal."


Huff said that among other fund raising efforts, the volunteers arranged "kinda some fun and games, bake sales have been going on around campus, educators sold t-shirts, there’s a group that has bras where you can (try to) throw little balls into the decorative bras."


Awareness has been a key theme of the event since Grayson College English Professor Kay Dishner helped conceive it. Dishner works in the Writing Center inside the library, and she said she began the event in honor of Librarian Lisa Hebert. Hebert, a celebrated local actress and opera singer, is uncharacteristically shy about her role in inspiring the annual event.


"It kinda got started with me," Hebert said in Dishner’s presence.


Dishner interjected, "What do you mean, ‘kinda?’"


Hebert credited Dishner with the inspiration to begin the fundraiser, and Dishner in turn credited the supportive Grayson College community. Both women laughed and echoed one another during fond recollections of "Just Doo It’s" history.


Dishner said her awareness of how close breast cancer could strike to her own heart came when she returned to work after the 2011 Summer break from classes. During the summer, Hebert had been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she said she didn’t tell her friends.


"My thought was to just be ‘up’ all the time," Hebert said, "I wasn’t going to tell anybody, but when your hair starts falling out it’s kinda hard to hide."


Dishner said, "When I came back from Summer break, I saw that she was wearing a doo rag on her head, and I said, ‘what is going on!?’ Lisa told me she had been diagnosed with breast cancer, and my heart stopped, it really did."


Hebert said, "Kay told me, ‘you know, there are more people who are touched by cancer then you know.’ So she said, ‘let’s get this started.’"


Disher explained, "I said, ‘we’re all gonna wear doo rags!’ I was gonna ask everyone on the campus who was willing to wear doo rags, and low and behold there were people who wanted to raise money."


Hebert said, "The first year we gave to Susan G. Komen, and then I said, ‘you know, maybe we could do this with Women Rock, because that’s more local." Disher said that "we found out through the first one that we have several survivors and fighters (on campus)," and the event has grown significantly in attendance over the last three years.


Huff said, "I’m a breast cancer survivor as well, so they recruited me to help. We grew it last year, got it a little bit larger, pulled Women Rock in, and we got more students groups on campus to be involved with it."


It was almost as easy to spot a smile or hear a laugh as it was to see a pink doo rag or t-shirt proudly displayed by supporters in the GCC common area on Tuesday. "I think the students like to get together and have a reason to rally," Huff said, "it’s fun, and it helps spread awareness."