St. Norbert College students join the fight against cancer with fundraiser

DE PERE, Wis. (WBAY) -- St. Norbert College students in the "Colleges Against Cancer" program are hoping to make a difference in the lives of cancer patients in nearby hospitals. The inaugural "Hope Dinner" on Sunday gave the community a chance to learn more about the program and hope for a cancer free future.

St. Norbert College Hope Dinner hosted by Colleges Against Cancer

For SNC student, Cathryn Siolka, it's personal. After watching her dad battle liver cancer, she's motivated to help others survive like her dad did.

"I just felt like it was an opportunity for me to share my experiences and I wanted to be an advocate for others who have maybe dealt with a loved one or grieving over losing someone to this deathly disease or someone who wants to make a difference who wants to make it known that we care and support people that have been affected because so many people supported me and my family," said Siolka, who shared her dad’s story at the event.

The first ever SNC Hope Dinner brought dozens to raise money for a cause that touches so many.

"We're hoping that in the future this event grows to include wider reaching areas of the community, greater aspects of the student body and to really bolster, I mean this ballroom could fit almost 300 people, maybe one day this event will fill the ballroom, so that's what we're hoping for," said Matthew Matuszak, Colleges Against Cancer President.

"I understand that so many guests are here for different reasons, some people are here because they have been affected, maybe they're a survivor or maybe they're currently fighting or know someone who's fighting, I feel like we're all here for different reasons but kind of the same motives in a way, we're all looking for a cancer free future, we're all here to fund raise," said Siolka.

Money raised at the Hope Dinner will go toward students in the Colleges Against Cancer group to make care baskets, tie blankets and jars with inspirational notes for nearby hospitals.

"The biggest reason why people join our group Colleges Against Cancer is because they want some way to do community service that's at the heart of so many people. There are many families that have been touched by cancer and it's a way for us to give back and hopefully to spread a little bit more joy and hope," said Matuszak.