CCOB students help over 48,000 stand up to cancer at World Series

Colangelo College of Business students played a prominent role in the Stand Up to Cancer event at Game 4 of the World Series.

The Arizona Diamondbacks failed to earn a victory in any of the three World Series games they hosted at Chase Field.

But 20 students from Grand Canyon University’s Colangelo College of Business collectively earned a save during Game 4.

The students volunteered to help Major League Baseball and Stand Up to Cancer raise cancer awareness in the top of the fifth inning.

It felt so fulfilling to "be able to participate in this event and be able to see the personal touch it had on people’s World Series experience," Natalie Kerr, one of the student participants said. "A once-in-a-lifetime day, for sure." 

CCOB students were prepared to aid fans on the Chase Field concourse.

The preparation started Oct. 29 with training and a walk-though at the ballpark. They arrived at Chase Field before Game 4 to set up the stadium.

That meant the CCOB students, joined by five students from other GCU colleges, assisted stadium workers in placing cards with the words “I Stand Up For” in each of the 48,519 seats. With the help of the CCOB students, fans could go to tables on the concourses to write the names of people below the inscribed words on the cards to add a personal touch.

"Participating in this event was an honor and a blessing," Matthew Ealy said. "This was very near to my heart, as my grandfather passed away due to cancer less than six years ago. This was a unique experience, as most people I interacted with were also affected by cancer in some way.

"Stand Up to Cancer is doing an amazing job at creating awareness and providing support for research to cure cancer." 

Neda Barrie (center), who helped facilitate the event, is flanked by CCOB students and a raffle ticket-seller (right).

Before the top of the fifth inning, play was momentarily delayed to raise awareness, with players, coaches, umpires and fans standing for about a minute while holding their cards to recognize people – particularly those affected by the disease.

"The moment when everyone stood up with their posters was one I’ll never forget, seeing our work pay off and each person’s connection to the cause was very special," Kerr said. 

Jason Martin, who ran Rose Bowl Game operations for 16 years, told two USA Marketing executives in an email that “I thought the GCU students did a tremendous job! They were all eager to work and learn more about the sports industry - honestly might be the best group we’ve worked with!”

CCOB students were ready to assist fans throughout Chase Field.

"Participating in an event of this caliber was amazing, to say the least," Shaye Lardy said. "It was such an honor to support such a meaningful cause and use the impact of sports to create awareness. I heard so many touching stories and loved interacting with everyone.

"There were several heartwarming moments throughout the day. Talking to the people writing on their placards and hearing their personal stories or stories of their loved ones was so special, but it was truly impactful to see the entire stadium stand together for the same cause." 

Students share their spirit to participate in the Stand Up To Cancer event.

"Having fans come up and share different experiences was also really cool," said GCU student Brett Ward.

Added Ealy, "Watching players and fans alike standing up against cancer in silence is something that I will never forget."

Neda Barrie, CCOB Faculty Chair of Sports and Entertainment, facilitated the process for the GCU students.

Among the CCOB students who participated were Ward, Kerr, Lardy, Abby James, Preston Fagerlin, Daniella Rodriguez, Ealy, Andrew Herrera, Angel Martinez Jr., Kane Estrada, Micah Williams, Zachary Miller, Koby Burns, Madison McClelland, Andrew Carlisle, Katelyn Frank, Noah Johnson, Keegan Heivilin, Macen Strickland and Jacob Grunseich.

GCU News Senior Writer Mark Gonzales can be reached at [email protected]

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