Volleyball teams dig pink

SPA volleyball teams raise awareness and money for breast cancer.

Photo credit: Catherine Braman

SPA volleyball teams raise awareness and money for breast cancer.

With pink ribbons in their hair, knee-high pink socks tucked into their knee pads, and eye black that reads “Dig Pink,” St. Paul Academy and Summit School’s volleyball teams set out to beat DeLaSalle High School and breast cancer on Friday.

Dig Pink® is a rally run by the Side-Out Foundation, which fundraises for breast cancer research and care for people going through treatment. SPA’s volleyball teams get involved each year to support the cause during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October.

“It’s for breast cancer, and my mom had breast cancer… it’s a cause that’s really close to everyone’s hearts because it’s so prominent,” sophomore C-team co-captain Mary Grant said.

Breast cancer is one of the leading fatal cancers for women, and it also occurs in men. The American Cancer Society predicted that 232,670 new cases of breast cancer will be diagnosed in women in 2014, and that 40,000 women would die from the disease

Last year the volleyball teams raised $1,200 dollars for the cause which was their target for this year as well.

Junior C-team co-captain Caroline Montague, whose grandmother had breast cancer, had high hopes for meeting their goal. “Teenage boys will buy pretty much anything the volleyball team sells. Last year we sold sparkly headbands and we sold out because of all the boys who bought them,” she said.

This year the team raised money with an online campaign, donations, and by selling two different tee shirts and eye black.

“Our volleyball teammates are very good saleswomen,” Grant said.

Pam Bersie is the 7/8 Gold team volleyball coach, and her experiences with breast cancer made her eager to get involved with the Side-Out Foundation.

“I’m a breast cancer survivor. It’s kind of nice to have an organization that I’m part of, that I participate in, which donates to breast cancer research. To have the two tied together,” Bersie said.

According to Bersie, the Side-Out Foundation was founded by a volleyball coach whose mother had breast cancer, and he decided to raise money with the help of his volleyball community. It has been continuing in the name of that mission, so while none of the volleyball teams beat DeLaSalle, they made a more lasting difference.

“We didn’t win, but we were good… and there were lots of sparkly pink decorations,” Montague said.

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