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May 1, 2003

This year’s SHOOT OUT CANCER Benefit Picnic was held last Sunday, April 27 from 1-4 p.m. in the Amphitheater on the Grounds of the University of Virginia. The Student Athlete Mentors Program (SAMs) hosted the event under the leadership of Chairman Ryan Gibbs of Virginia Men’s Soccer. SAMs announced today that this year’s event raised over $8000 to donate to the Jennifer Fund, a fund named for Jennifer Marshall which provides supplies for children and their families who are undergoing cancer treatment at the UVa Children’s Cancer Center. The amount raised substantially outdistances the previous record of $5800. Additionally, SAMs has been told there is still ticket money yet to be turned in.

“SAMs wants to thank everyone for their support of this year’s SHOOT-OUT”, said Phil Gates, Life Skills Coordinator of the Virginia Department of Athletics, “This will make a terrific contribution to the lives and well-being of youngsters with cancer and their families.”

Patrick Belisle of the UVA Children’s Cancer Center shared similar sentiments with the outcome of the event.

“This is unbelievable! We are so grateful to Ryan, Phil, Amy, and the whole SAM group… Thank you so much on behalf of all of us at the UVa Children’s Medical Center. This donation of more than $8,000 will benefit so many kids who are fighting to beat cancer here. The good news is that because of concerned people like the supporters and organizers of this event, we can now cure 75% of childhood cancer!”

Virginia’s Director of Athletics, Craig Littlepage, praised the Student Athlete Mentors for their hard work and dedication to the cause.

“The SAMs have outdone themselves again,” Littlepage said, “and have brought such positive recognition to the University and Athletics. Time and time again, these student-athletes demonstrate their commitment to service within the University community. Funding generated by Shoot-Out goes a long way toward helping find a cure for cancer and improving the quality of life for those with the disease. Thanks to these outstanding student-athlete mentors for their role in making this effort such a great success.”

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