Student Graduation Speaker Is Crusader for Breast Cancer Research

Posted: May 5, 2004 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Tara Laskowski

When her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer three years ago, senior Erin Vanover knew she had to do something positive to deal with the diagnosis. She became a breast cancer crusader, collecting Yoplait yogurt lids as part of the company’s promotion to raise money for the disease. She also walked 60 miles from Baltimore to Washington, D.C., in the Avon Breast Cancer Three-Day Walk, raising more than $3,500 dollars for the cause.

“I chose to participate in the walk alone as a statement for my mom,” says Vanover. “I needed to feel like I was doing something for her and the cause.”

Vanover, a native of Northern Virginia, is a communication major and a board member of the Intervarsity Christian Fellowship. She will give the graduate address during Commencement on May 15.

In addition to her work raising money for breast cancer research, the graduating senior works in the advertising department at her family’s business, the Buyer’s Guide newspaper.

“Working with my family is absolutely wonderful,” she says. “I work with my mom, dad, and best friend every day; I can’t ask for better than that.”

Vanover is also passionate about dancing, and has participated in national competitions throughout the United States for 10 years. She enjoys tap, lyrical, ballet, production, and modern dance, and also taught competitive dance at a local studio for three years. She placed in the top ten of the finals of the Miss American Coed Virginia Pageant.

She would like to pursue a career in advertising, broadcast journalism, or public relations and continues to focus on the things that mean the most to her in life: family and friends.

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