The Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive was established by students in 1980 in memory of a great Wake Forest athlete/alum and Chicago Bear football star who died of cancer. The inaugural year of the drive brought in $3,500 and each successive year has seen increases in both community involvement and monies raised. In May 2009, students broke the $1 million mark for total Fund donations and received the Outstanding Youth/College Achievement Award from the Triad Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. This year’s Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive will continue this student-led enterprise and rely on the Wake Forest campus and local TRIAD communities for its remarkable success story.
The Brian Piccolo Cancer Fund Drive is recognized as the premiere charitable event of the year at Wake Forest. It is unique in that it is totally student initiated, and it mobilizes the entire campus community in a unified effort to raise monies for cancer treatment and research. The monies raised are donated to the Comprehensive Cancer Center of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Each year Piccolo Cancer Drive students tour the Cancer Center and many students volunteer in research labs or with outreach programs.
Because of the advancements in medical research and treatment, today there is a 80% success rate for curing the type of cancer which Brian Piccolo died of in 1970 at the age of 26. The Piccolo Drive is one of the few University efforts which joins together the undergraduate college community with the medical school community in a common humanitarian enterprise — the fight against cancer. Join the Deacon battle against cancer!
Through a series of fun and creative events Wake Forest student organizations join together to bring awareness of and participation in the Cancer Fund Drive. Highlights of this year’s Fund Drive include the Hit the Bricks for Brian, the Wake ‘n Shake Dance Marathon, Chi Omega’s Silent Auction, Theta Chi’s Birdies for Brian, Phi Mu’s Pajamas for Piccolo, APO’s Pennies for Piccolo, the PIKA & WFU Football Team “Pump Up for Piccolo” strength event and the presentation of the final Piccolo BIG Check at an ACC men’s basketball game this season.