* Purdue Musical Organizations
* Purdue Cancer Center

March 12, 2007

Purduettes to join Cancer Center for fourth annual fundraiser

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Purduettes, an all-female singing group from Purdue Musical Organizations, will perform in Indianapolis on March 24 at the fourth annual Purdue Cancer Benefit.

A welcome reception will start at 4 p.m., followed by desserts, entertainment and information about cancer treatment. The event, sponsored by Purdue Musical Organizations and the Purdue Cancer Center, will take place at the Columbia Club, 121 Monument Circle.

"The response we've had from the community each time we've held this event has been phenomenal," said Julie Ricciardi, assistant director of the Purduettes. "If we are able to bring attention to the cause and let people know about advances that are being made in cancer research, it's more than worth our time and efforts."

Speaking at the event will be Brianne Townsend, 21, a junior in the College of Education from Seymour, Ind. Townsend, a member of the Purduettes, will talk about how cancer has affected her family since her 5-year-old cousin, Trey, was diagnosed with leukemia.

Also speaking will be Rachel Custer, a former member of Purdue Musical Organizations and a Purdue graduate. Custer will talk about losing both of her parents to cancer. She is one of two young women who came up with the idea for the benefit.

The Purduettes created the event in 2004 because many of the group's members had been affected by cancer, Ricciardi said. They combined their love of music with a desire to make a difference in cancer research.

"Cancer-related deaths have dropped for the second year in a row as detection and treatment improve," said Marietta Harrison, associate director of the Purdue Cancer Center. "Research is vital to continuing this progress and winning the war on cancer. This scholarship provides for the next generation of cancer researchers who hold the key to future successes."

A tax-deductible gift of $30 for the general public and $15 for students is requested to attend the concert, and cocktail attire is appropriate. There will be complimentary valet parking and a cash bar.

To make reservations, call Purdue Musical Organizations at (765) 494-3941. All proceeds will go toward an endowed scholarship that will alternate every year between a PMO student and a student doing research at the Purdue Cancer Center.

The Purdue Cancer Center is one of just seven National Cancer Institute-designated basic-research facilities in the United States. The center attempts to help cancer patients by identifying new molecular targets and designing future agents and drugs for effectively detecting and treating cancer. The center also is affiliated with the Oncological Sciences Center located in Purdue's Discovery Park.

Writers: Christy Jones, (765) 494-1089,

Elizabeth Gardner, (765) 494-2081,

Sources: Steve Schlenk, Purdue Musical Organizations assistant to the director, (765) 496-6091,

Julie Ricciardi, (765) 494-3947,

Marietta Harrison, (765) 494-1422,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;


Note to Journalists: Journalists are invited to cover the benefit. To make arrangements, contact Steve Schlenk, Purdue Musical Organizations assistant to the director, at (765) 496-6091,

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