For one night, Southeastern High School’s volleyball squad will put aside their school colors and wear pink instead. They are encouraging fans to do the same.
It’s all part of the Lady Trojans’ participation in “Volley For The Cure,” a fundraising event promoted by the Ohio High School Volleyball Coaches Association. Proceeds benefit Susan G. Komen For The Cure, a foundation dedicated to the fight against breast cancer, the signature color for which is pink.
Participating teams dedicate one of their season’s matches to raising money and awareness for the cause. For Southeastern High School, that match is on Oct. 8 at home against Mechanicsburg. The junior varsity game starts at 5:30 p.m., followed by the varsity game.
Head Coach Kathy Mercer and her team have planned several events for that night, as well as the week preceding the match. Several other school groups have joined in the effort.
The fundraising activities include:
• Pink shirts—The Athletic Boosters are selling pink, short-sleeved T-shirts emblazoned with the “Volley For the Cure” logo. They are $5 each. A dollar from each sale will go to the foundation. Shirts can be purchased at football games and volleyball games, or by contacting Jennifer Routzahn at the high school, 937-462-8308.
“We would like to pack the gym with people wearing pink,” Mercer said.
• Donations—The team is collecting donations at its home matches through Oct. 8. They play Emmanuel Christian on Sept. 29 and Cedarville on Oct. 4.
• Cookies—The high school’s Family, Career & Community Leaders of America chapter regularly sells cookies after school. To support the fight against breast cancer, they plan to sell pink cookies.
• Change Contest—The week before “Volley For The Cure,” classes at the high school will compete against one another to see who can raise the most money in spare change.
• Admission to Game—Admission to the match on Oct. 8 is $6 for adults. A discount of $1 will be given to people wearing pink. Additionally, $1 from each admission collected will go to the cause.
• Serving Challenge—At the Oct. 8 match, fans can buy tickets for chances to compete in a “serving challenge.” Between the junior varsity and varsity games, a handful of tickets will be drawn randomly. The lucky ticketholders will be called down to the court, where they will try to hit pizza boxes with a volleyball. Those who do, win pizzas. Chances cost 25 cents each (or five tickets for $1).
• Concessions—The Athletic Boosters will donate all of their profits from the concessions they sell at the match.
The awareness aspect of the Oct. 8 event is as follows:
• Honorary Coaches—Prior to the start of the varsity match, two breast cancer survivors with ties to Southeastern volleyball will be recognized as the team’s honorary coaches. Mechanicsburg will do the same.
• Pink Jerseys—The players will wear pink jerseys, which were purchased with donations from the community.
• Pink Ball—Molten, a manufacturer of volleyballs, provided every high school in Ohio with a pink and white “Volley For The Cure” ball. Mercer said the team might raffle theirs off at the end of the varsity match.
• Information—In addition to a moment of silence, facts about breast cancer will be shared through announcements and informative hand-outs.
“Volley For The Cure” won’t be a one-sided affair on Oct. 8. Mechanicsburg has been conducting their own fundraisers, and their players, too, will be wearing pink. The two schools have a friendly competition going to see who can raise the most money, said Mercer, who played college volleyball and remains close friends with Mechanicsburg’s coach, Wendy Cromer.
Southeastern’s participation in “Volley For The Cure” doesn’t stop at the high school level. The Miami View junior high team will hold a similar fundraising event during their Oct. 13 home match.
“It’s good for the girls to do a service, to help out other people,” said Mercer of the nearly 50 youngsters involved in Southeastern’s volleyball program at the junior high and high school levels.
Helping others has been a theme for the Lady Trojans this fall. Earlier in the season, the program held a “serv-a-thon” that raised $2,600 for the family of Kellee Haggy, Southeastern’s eighth-grade volleyball coach. Haggy has ovarian cancer.
To further show support for Haggy, all of the high school players wear teal shoelaces in their shoes and many wear teal bracelets. Teal is the signature color for the fight against ovarian cancer.
“On Oct. 8, I will have a teal shirt on underneath my pink one,” Mercer said.
For more information about Southeastern’s “Volley For The Cure,” contact Kathy Mercer or Athletic Director Tim Bell at the high school, 462-8308.