The women’s basketball team and cheerleaders will host the first-ever Sink Pink Cancer Fundraiser on Feb. 11.
Pre-game activities will begin at 2:30 p.m., with the basketball game against Western Oklahoma State starting at 3 p.m.
Sink Pink began as an idea, formulated between Basketball Coach Jeff Soderquist, Cheerleading coach Kerri Young, and basketball team captains Chelsea Garrison and Brittany Hopper.
The Sink Pink game is a national movement begun by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. The WBCA sets a two-week timeframe every year in February for teams to participate.
Soderquist said they have participated in the past, but never as actively as they will be this year. He said this is largely due to the involvement of Keri Young and the cheer squad helping the basketball team prepare for the event, which falls during the final games of regular season play.
There were two motivations behind the Sink Pink game. The first was to have an event comparable to the TP game, the unifying effect of which the women’s basketball team rarely enjoys.
The second motivation was to do something meaningful.
They were partially inspired by the volleyball team’s Dig Pink event, held annually in the fall.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity to not just get behind the girls’ basketball team, but also to be a part of something bigger,” said Young. For Young, the cause is slightly more personal, as a close friend of hers is coming out of a struggle with breast cancer.
Young’s friend is doing “phenomenally,” but Young added, “It’s scary, though. You just never expect something like that to happen. ”
Young reported that her friend’s plight has given her a renewed ambition for Sink Pink to be successful.
Cheerleaders and basketball players are currently selling t-shirts, and online donations are also accepted through the Play4Kay program.
Fundraising efforts at the game include a bake sale and a collection box. There will also be a cancer information booth, as well as a moment to honor JBU faculty and staff who are cancer survivors.
All proceeds will go to the Kay Yow Foundation, an organization started by a former women’s basketball coach of North Carolina State. Yow, who passed away in 2009 after her third battle with breast cancer, began the foundation to raise money for several types of women’s cancers.
The foundation invests its donations in the research programs with the most promise, thus giving Kay Yow-funded programs much pull in the scientific community.
JBU’s team hopes to give one thousand dollars to Yow’s cause.
“This game is special,” said Hopper. “We want [students] to come and wear pink, to be aware of the cause we’re trying to support and support the team at the same time.”
To donate online, go to Play4Kay.org, click “Donate to team” on the left and search for John Brown University.