Junior high athletes host colorful doubleheader as a cancer fundraiser
MCNABB — The staff, students, families, and even opponents of the Putnam County Junior High Pumas baseball and softball teams recently helped support cancer research and awareness by playing a simultaneous doubleheader where there was only one color that mattered — pink.
Putnam County Junior High Principal Mike Olson explained the games against Fieldcrest Middle School were part of a fundraiser to benefit theáSusan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and to help raise awareness about the disease.
Other activities of the day included a raffle for a variety of gift baskets and a donation-based “Pink Day” for teachers who wanted to support the cause through their choice of jeans and pink clothing.
“Events like this help teach our kids about community service and to think about what others may be going through,” Olson said.
At the beginning of the game, a ceremonial first pitch was thrown by members of a local family who recently lost their loved one to cancer.
In addition, both teams wore uniforms with pink logos and numbers, and the umpires were supportive as well, with one wearing a solid pink shirt and others wearing T-shirts with “Stronger Than Cancer” logos.
Olson explained that when he called Fieldcrest Middle School, they were supportive of the idea and also ordered specially made “Swing for the Cure” T-shirts in honor of the cause. The Fieldcrest pitcher for the girls softball team went one step further and added a large pink bow in her hair to complete the themed look.
The Pumas boys baseball team defeated Fieldcrest 9-7, and the girls softball team lost to the visitors 16-11.
This is the second year for PCJH’s pink games. However, Olson said, this is the first year where the event was schoolwide, and he commended the supportive enthusiasm of both students and staff.
“Everyone has done a great job of helping to bring this all together, and it couldn’t be done without them,” he said.
Items in the gift baskets included donated products and gift cards from local businesses, including Sally Sue’s Coffee of Magnolia and Spratt’s Tap of Hennepin. Many baskets were themed and included beauty products and a salt lamp, specialty cleaning products, scratchers, candy, movies, theater gift cards, hot sauces, baseball snacks and a Wiffle ball set, a headset and Playstation gift card, and more.
Olson reported the total raised from concession sales, the raffle for the gift baskets and the staff paying to wear jeans and pink was $415, which will be donated to help support the Komen Foundation.
According to the Komen Foundation’s website, in 1980, Nancy G. Brinker promised her dying sister, Susan, that she would do everything in her power to end breast cancer forever. In 1982, that promise became the Susan G. Komen organization and the beginning of a global movement. What was started with $200 and a shoebox full of potential donor names has grown into the world’s largest non-profit source of funding for the fight against breast cancer.
The foundation has invested more than $2.9 billion in groundbreaking research, community health outreach, advocacy and programs in more than 60 countries.
Its efforts helped reduce deaths from breast cancer by 40 percent between 1989 and 2016.
The foundation addresses cancer on multiple fronts such as education, treatment, screening, research, community health, global outreach and public policy initiatives in order to make the biggest impact against this disease.
For more information, visit https://ww5.komen.org.