It's a sweet event—traditionally organized by faculty and staff in the Department of Communications Disorders, Special Education, and Disability Services at Indiana University of Pennsylvania—that almost wasn't going to happen this year.

Two faculty members who coordinated the event left the department. One of the key staff organizers experienced a death in the family. The department thought they had no choice but to cancel the event.

However, a group of dedicated students in the department weren't going to allow the tradition to end.

Confections for a Cause

Students Deni Fabina, Madison Gorrasi, and Santina Schiaretta show off some of the items donated for the 2018 event.

Students have stepped up to hold “Confections for a Cause,” a bake sale event to raise funds for ovarian cancer education and research, on September 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the second floor of IUP's Davis Hall. September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness month.

The event surpassed the $10,000 fundraising mark in 2018, raising $1,630 in a single day—the highest total to date—for ovarian cancer education and research. The total amount raised during the eight years of the event is $10,690.

The student groups that stepped up to organize the event this year include the National Student Speech-Language-Hearing Association, the Council for Exceptional Children, and Best Buddies.

“Confections for a Cause” features hundreds of baked goods and sweets of all types, from pies to chocolates, all made or donated by members of the university community. Persons may fill a small container for a $5 suggested donation or a large container for an $8 suggested donation.

All funds raised go to the Sandy Rollman Ovarian Cancer Foundation, Inc. based outside Philadelphia.

The event got its start because members of the department wanted to honor Vickie Johnson, administrative assistant in the department, who had lost family members to ovarian cancer. Since that time, a student in the department also lost her mother to ovarian cancer.

“Our students are amazing,” Lisa Hammett Price, professor in the department, said. “They just decided that this event was too important not to continue. This has always been about community, and I am so proud of our students for taking this event on and for keeping our community spirit alive.”