by Grace Fiorella, Staff Writer, February 2021
The Campuses Against Cancer (CAC) Rose Sale occurs annually in February to raise funds for cancer organizations that research cures or preventatives for the disease. Everyone on campus, including faculty and staff, can send and receive roses, and all the proceeds go to partnering organizations. However, this year, the Rose Sale dates, times, places, and rose-handling are changing because of COVID protocols.
Instead of CAC members handing out roses, the flowers will now be bundled with ribbons and placed in buckets around campus to prevent gathering and on-site contact with the roses by the handlers.
Normally, the funds from the Rose Sale are donated to Silent Spring, Lucy’s Love Bus, and the Jimmy Fund. Silent Springs is a non-profit foundation located in Newton that researches prevention for breast cancer. Lucy’s Love Bus is an organization that provides integrative therapies for kids with life-threatening illnesses. The Jimmy Fund, located in Boston, raised funds for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institutes. “Often when we have a community member who is particularly affected by a certain type of cancer, we will change our donations to honor that person,” Head of Faculty and CAC Faculty Advisor Maura Sullivan said. All the normal roses sold will go to these organizations.
Typically, roses are handed out during the day in Gleason Hall on or the day closest to Valentine’s Day. With Classes VI-IV on campus at the beginning of the week and Classes III-I at the end of the week, CAC decided to host the Rose Sale on two separate consecutive Wednesdays: 2/10 and 2/17. Wednesdays were chosen because they do not include afternoon programs. Students will pick up their roses and head straight home after school without having to worry about where to put their roses in between classes and practices.
Due to COVID-19, many other charitable organizations that Nobles partners with are not raising sufficient funding. This year, CAC has decided to add a new rose to the Rose Sale called the “More Good News” rose. All proceeds from this rose will go towards Nobles’s partners including Immigrant Family Services Institute (IFSI), an organization that tutors immigrant families, and Three Squares New England, an organization that reduces hunger.
“Because we had some difficulty with our normal fundraising, we are actually partnering up with community service to donate [to] their partners,” CAC Club Leader Sidnie Kulik (Class I) said. Community service has had to eliminate bake sale fundraisers supporting EXCEL trips or local organizations due to COVID regulations. Through the partnership, CAC and Community Service hope to raise more money for both their partners.
CAC also brainstormed ideas to make people feel less left out with the Rose Sale. Changes have been made to ensure everyone receives the same number of roses. Additionally, Sullivan will be the only person who can see the list of how many roses each person received. There have also been discussions about whether access to the rose portal will be granted during or after the school day, so the number of roses is not as public.
“One of the most important things the CAC Rose Sale does is facilitate connections. With COVID, a lot of people are feeling lonely and haven’t seen a lot of people, especially the ones they aren’t as close with and don’t see on a daily basis,” CAC Club Leader Vivian Li (Class I) said. She added, “For the sale, we are hoping people buy roses for people they don’t see as often. We hope the Nobles community can feel a little more close and united during this time when we are all so separated.”
CAC and the administration further deliberated on whether to make the event virtual or in-person. “I think it’s so important this year that we try to do as many things that feel normal as possible,” Sullivan said. She continued, “If we can pull this off in person, which we know we can, we should do it. It should not be a virtual thing, it’s such a feel-good thing in the middle of February, and it’s also a great fundraiser.”