All over the world, October is known to be breast cancer awareness month. This month holds a strong meaning for many people. Although there is a specific month devoted to finding a cure, Van Buren holds events all year round to support the cause in many ways.
Decked out in pink, the gym and the players of the Van Buren High School volleyball team showed support to any woman who had been diagnosed with breast cancer for one special night called Volley for the Cure. On the night of Volley for the Cure, the players and coaches had pink jerseys, and sported anywhere from pink hair to pink socks.
When asked what her favorite part of the event was, Jen Irving, junior volleyball player, said, “Getting ready for it because we get to dress up in different uniforms and then put pink in our hair, and it’s just kind of neat because there is a lot going on.”
Before the start of the game, the women in the gym who had survived breast cancer were given a pink carnation by each player on both teams, followed by a moment of silence in honor of these women.
Junior volleyball player Emily Anderbery stated, “It is a way to give back to the community and put those people who have been fighting for their lives up on a pedestal.”
According to volleyball coach Nicole Wood, all of the funds raised that night went toward the Susan G. Komen program for finding a cure. The money donated to the program came from admission and a special bake sell held on the night of Volley for the Cure.
This event was not only a great way to give back to the community, but the players and students had a lot of fun with it.
The boys’ soccer team held a Kick for the Cure game on Tuesday, Oct. 1 in order to raise money and show their support for the people who have been affected by breast cancer. The team held T-shirt sales and gave the profits to the Susan G. Komen organization. The team also had pink jerseys and socks for the special game.
When asked about the meaning of Kick for the Cure, team captain Ted Simmons said, “Kick for the cure means a great deal more to me than just getting pink outfits. It gives everyone on our team a motivation to play our best in tribute to the many affected by breast cancer, which I think is really what it's all about.”
In the spring, the softball team will be holding their second Fight Like a Girl game in support of breast cancer awareness.
This event started in 2012 when Mrs. Patterson, a Van Buren elementary teacher, was diagnosed with breast cancer and the girls wanted to do something to show support for her.
Last year, Fight Like a Girl T-shirts with players’ numbers on the back were worn as jerseys for the event. Along with the T-shirts, the girls wore pink bows, socks, and headbands. The coaches even participated by wearing not only the shirt, but pink sweatpants too.
As for decorations, the field was lined with pink chalk and pink Fight Like a Girl posters were hung on the dugouts.
Since the event was dedicated to Mrs. Patterson, the way of support was treated a little different than other breast cancer awareness events. Unlike the volleyball and soccer teams, the softball girls did not raise money for a certain organization; however, the goal of encouraging Mrs. Patterson was definitely accomplished.
“Seeing Mrs. Patterson’s face when she walked up to the field meant a lot,” said Erin Neall, junior softball player.
When asked about her feelings toward the event, Neall said, “There is a reason to play, not just playing to win but playing for a special person feels good.”
Coach Stacy Sharp, organizer of the event, had this to say, “Although we didn’t do anything financial I just think that it shows the girls that the game is so small in the scheme of the big picture of life…just the amount of effort we put into our uniforms and the way we played gave [Mrs. Patterson] a feeling of encouragement and that’s what our goal was.”