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Scholarships Awarded In Bethany Graduate’s Honor

From left, Kasie Goldsborough, Olivia Masciantoni, and Katie Fuchs display the Warrior Quilt awarded to the Bethany College chapter of Zeta Tau Alpha outside Commencement Hall on Bethany’s campus. Goldsborough and Masciantoni were honored with the Beth Mayer Hersh Award, given annually to members of the sorority’s Theta chapter. Fuchs is Theta chapter president. (Photo by Derek Redd)

BETHANY — The late Beth Mayer Hersh, a 1979 Bethany College graduate and sister of the Zeta Tau Alpha sorority’s Theta chapter, lost her battle with breast cancer in 2008. Yet the disease did not extinguish the influence she’s had with that sorority chapter and Bethany as a whole.

As October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Hersh’s memory was honored earlier this month as part of Bethany’s homecoming, and the Theta chapter sisters were honored for their work in breast cancer awareness. A pair of Theta chapter sisters earned scholarships in Hersh’s name as the entire chapter was gifted a Ford Warrior Quilt from Neighborhood Ford Store.

It marked the first time a Warrior Quilt has been given to an entity that is not a breast cancer treatment facility, yet Zeta Tau Alpha is a champion of raising awareness of the disease.

The sorority is the official fan outreach partner of the National Football League and its alumnae and collegiate members have worked with all 32 teams to spread the message of breast cancer awareness. The Theta chapter does its work with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

It is a fitting way to memorialize Hersh, said Nancy Lewis, the PR manager for Neighborhood Ford Store. Lewis is a Bethany grad and friend of Hersh, and on Friday, described how powerful Hersh’s spirit was.

“Beth was among the most committed and enthusiastic women ever to grace this small college of distinction,” Lewis said. “To those who knew her, Beth was a loving, powerful force of nature. To the sisters who came after her, Beth remains an inspiration.”

Two Theta chapter sisters — sophomore education major Kasie Goldsborough and freshman psychology major Olivia Masciantoni — received this year’s Beth Mayer Hersh Award, an annual in-house scholarship given to the women who best continue Hersh’s dedication to philanthropy and community.

Winners were chosen through essay submissions on the theme, “Why is breast cancer awareness important?”

Both students have helped not just bring awareness to the disease and the search for a cure, but they also have, in their lives, helped comfort those who have fought breast cancer. Goldsborough said that the aunt of an Alpha Xi Delta sister at Bethany was going through breast cancer treatment, and the Theta chapter put together a basket for her and hand delivered it. They did the same for Goldsborough’s aunt when she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

The wife of Masciantoni’s high school soccer coach was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Masciantoni quickly put together a “Pink Out” game in her honor and raised thousands of dollars for her.

“Having a personal touch is incredibly important,” Masciantoni said. “It makes the fight as a whole so much more personal.”

And it makes winning a scholarship named for someone like Hersh that much more meaningful, Goldsborough said.

“Our alums are very important to us,” Goldsborough said. “They’ve done so much for us, so it makes you feel closer to the alums and Beth when you see these things.”

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