Center Stage: 9th Annual Purdue Cancer Benefit Concert
Planning for the 9th Annual Purdue Cancer Benefit Concert started months before the actual event, including a marathon work day the afternoon before. At the work day, members of the Cancer Benefit committee worked on creating centerpieces, arranging silent auction items, creating nametags, and other preparations to make the event a success.
Junior Colette Pfeiffer and sophomores Alyssa Wick and Jenna Engelberth pose with a few of the incredible silent auction items showcased at this year’s event.
At the conclusion of the long work day, cars were stuffed full of decorations and goodies ready to be transported to Duncan Hall the next morning.
Early on Sunday morning, the members of the Cancer Benefit committee arrive at Duncan Hall to set up the venue and prepare for guests to arrive. Here, Gold of Advancement and Head of the Cancer Benefit Committee Leanne Shideler speaks with the ladies and lets them know the flow of events for the day.
The ladies quickly got to work setting up tables and properties, as well as displaying the silent auction items to be bid on. Senior Ashlea Lidester stands proudly by a table featuring various wines that she has arranged.
New Women Brandi Fishburn and Grace Bagshaw meticulously number each coat hanger so that guests may check their personal belongings at the event – every detail counts!
The ballroom looks absolutely stunning when the ladies are finished setting up. The colors blue and white were the backdrop for the event this year as they are the colors of colorectal cancer, which was the type of cancer being supported by this year’s benefit. The centerpieces also featured photos of Purduette Paige Devine and her father Tom, who lost his battle with colon cancer months before the event, and in whose memory the benefit was dedicated to.
Before the event begins, Leanne Shideler poses by the Duncan Hall sign advertising the benefit. Months of hard work and preparation on behalf of the Cancer Benefit committee were about to pay off!
After the guests arrive, the ladies start off the afternoon by singing a new song entitled “Helping Hand.” The tune, originally sung by Christian singer-songwriter Amy Grant, emphasizes the philanthropic theme of the benefit.
During the breakout portion of the event, guests were encouraged to peruse the items up for bidding in the silent auction. Here, a few of the attendees scope out the wine and cheese themed items in the Thomas Duncan Room.
Among the various pieces up for auction, the guests also had the opportunity to bid on performances by the various Purduette specialties.
The theme of this year’s silent auction was “Made in Indiana,” featuring everything from pillows to paintings to a homemade chess set created right here in the great Hoosier state.
Guests also had the option to dine on scrumptious hors d'oeuvres catered by The Outpost in Lafayette.
While some were bidding or eating, still others were able to sit and listen to a few of the Purduette specialties sing.
Leanne Shideler poses for a picture with Dr. Joe Pekney and Dr. Marietta Harrison, Purdue Center for Cancer Research researchers and keynote speakers at the event.
Purduette Mentor Co-Chair Linda Rohrman and a friend peruse the silent auction items one last time before bidding ends.
Dr. Joe Pekney kicks off the event by speaking about how researchers at the Purdue Center for Cancer Research are fighting colon cancer and applying systems engineering methods to find a cure.
Purduette Paige Devine takes time to speak about her father, Tom Devine, and his impact on the world.
Mid-way through the event, Emcee Ted Arthur and Advancement Committee member Grace Bagshaw announce the winners of the “Opportunities to Win” auction.
Finally, Purduette Alyssa Wick gives an emotional speech about her grandfather, who passed away from colon cancer.
The Purduettes begin the concert portion of the event with the high-energy number “It’s Today/Tonight.”
Senior Ali Norman gets the audience clapping with the soulful tune “I’ve Got the Music in Me.”
Junior Caroline LaDue sings a solo in the emotion-filled Purduette classic, “Shackles.”
Senior Allie Rieth wows the audience with the ever-poignant and stirring tune, “House of Love.”
Senior Raylene Schramer delivers a beautiful solo during “Songbird.”
In a song close to the Purduettes’ own hearts, senior Abby Green sings of staying strong through hard times in the song “My Life is in Your Hands.”
Junior Chrissy Kvachkoff delivers a powerful solo in the inspirational tune “Distance You Have Come.”
The ladies connect with their audience and lift their spirits with songs such as “You Better Love Me/Night and Day” and “Wouldn’t Trade it for the World.”
The ladies close out the benefit with “Hail, Purdue!” A special thanks to our speakers, the Purdue Center for Cancer Research, the Cancer Benefit Committee, the staff at Duncan Hall, and all of our guests for helping make this years’ Cancer Benefit a success!