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April 21, 2004

This Sunday, April 25th from 1-4pm, the University’s Student Athlete Mentor (SAM) program will be holding this year’s “Shoot-Out for Cancer” at the Lower Nameless Field, next to Memorial Gymnasium and the tennis courts. The “Shoot-Out for Cancer” is put on every year by the SAMs in order to raise money for cancer research and cancer victims through the Children’s Medical Center Jennifer Fund. The event is designed to bring together the University and Charlottesville communities in support of this great cause through good food and great activities for kids (i.e. face painting and UVa star athletes signing autographs for children), a cappella performances, raffle prizes, and more. Tickets are $5 and available for purchase at the event.

The SAM program was started in 1991 to address the unique concerns of student-athletes at the University, specifically the issue of drug and alcohol abuse. At its heart, the SAM organization’s objective is to provide UVa student-athletes with both information and opportunities that will help to ensure that their days as both a student and an athlete at UVa are full of memories they will cherish for the rest of their lives. Giving back to the UVa community is a crucial part of this objective.

Tom Henske, a goalkeeper for the University of Virginia soccer team and member of the Student Athlete Mentor program, organized “Shoot-Out for Cancer” in 1994 to honor his teammate and friend, Curt Onalfo, who had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease a year earlier. As a symbolic gesture, Henske donated his national championship ring in support of the cause. With the support of friends and teammates such as Henske, Onalfo overcame his disease, and, in 2001, he was named an assistant coach to D.C. United of Major League Soccer.

The Jennifer Fund is an organization that supports the Oncology and Hematology departments within the University of Virginia’s Children’s Medical Center. The fund was started a few years ago by Ginny Marshall when her daughter Jenny, was stricken with cancer and began receiving treatment at the UVa Medical Center. Jenny has now recovered from Leukemia, but she and her family continue their tireless efforts to raise money in the hopes that other victims of cancer and blood diseases will be able to survive their harrowing illnesses. For more information, visit the Jennifer Fund website at

Come out this Sunday with your family and friends, enjoy the fun, and support a worthwhile cause!

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