Published Fri, Oct 28, 2011 2:10 pm Dateline
October, the breast cancer awareness month, has almost come to an end; but that doesn’t mean that the Ohio University volleyball team is stopping in its efforts to fight against breast cancer.
Four years ago, the team joined a national organization called the Side-Out Foundation; a foundation that raises money for breast cancer research and patients through the middle school, high school, professional, club and college volleyball ranks. Ryan Theis, the head coach of Ohio volleyball, made the initiative for the team to join Side-Out.
“We love to give to the community as much as possible,” Theis said. “Our athletes are really blessed with the scholarships they receive to come play here; it is our responsibility to give back.”
This year, the team has the goal of raising $2,500 and has currently raised half of that. Last year they raised over $3,000. To raise money, the team has a running website with the Side-Out foundation and has a “Dig Pink” match set up for each playing season. This year the “Dig Pink” event was held on September 24 during the game against Miami University (OH). The Bobcats beat the Redhawks in three sets, (25-14, 25-20, 25-16). Senior outside hitter, Katie Post, elaborated on the “Dig Pink” events.
“As a team, we have so much fun decking out in all pink to show our support during this event,” Post said. “From pink socks to pink shoes to pinks shirts, we really love to go all out. We give out free shirts at the event and it is also another chance for donators to contribute.”
The national Side-Out foundation’s goal is to raise $2.5 million for this year; they have currently raised around $620,000. A high school coach, Rick Dunez, made the organization. He started the fundraising group after watching his mother struggle with breast cancer. Freshman outside hitter, Kelly Lamberti, plays for her loved ones who have had cancer.
“ A lot of people that I know have had breast cancer,” Lamberti said. “When I go out on the court, I don’t play for myself; I play for them.”
The team will remain raising money until their final goal is met. As a team, they work together to fight against this very common disease. Sophomore middle blocker Lexie Harnett describes how it feels to work as a team to fight this disease.
“As a team it feels great to fight against breast cancer,” the sophomore said. “So many women are affected by this disease and we enjoy giving back to such a good cause.”