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Making a difference against cancer
Mountain Valley High School players, coaches and staff formed a ribbon at midcourt, the symbol for the American Cancer Society, during a break of basketball Friday night. Over two nights, the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer event raised $460 to go towards the fight against cancer. (Times photo by Bruce Farrin)
RUMFORD -- Puiia Gymnasium was adorned in a sea of pink for some exciting basketball contests last Friday and Saturday in the second annual Coaches vs. Cancer event.
And while the Falcon girls and boys fought battles to try to win their respective games, the teams, along with their coaches, faculty and the crowd were taking raising money for the American Cancer Society to help win the fight against cancer.
The players, coaches, boosters members and staff were all wearing Players vs. Cancer t-shirts, which were made by Jarato's of Andover. Players also wore Coaches vs. Cancer wrist bands purchased by the Mountain Valley High School Athletic Boosters. In addition, everyone attending was asked to wear pink in support of fighting cancer.
At the entrance to the gym was a table manned by the MVHS Athletic Boosters, who are doing a Wall of Honor for which donations will be asked. The names of those donating will be placed on a Wall of Honor card, to be displayed in the gym.
Leanne Virgin of the boosters said that between the 50/50, the Wall of Hope, and the Pink Falcon stickers that Jeff Sterling made for them, close to $460 was raised during the two-day event.
"I would like to thank Jeff for the stickers and the banners that he made, Joe (Jarato's) for the t-shirts, and Greg Viger for the pictures that he took at both games, and of course all the players, staff and community for wearing their pink!" she noted.
Virgin said they will be selling the Wall of Hope cards for the rest of the season, as well as continuing to display them in the gym.
Both games were exciting, with the Falcon girls knocking off previously unbeaten Madison by 50-47, with the boys nearly upsetting rival Dirigo, losing by the slimmest of margins, 55-54.
Virgin said the Coaches vs. Cancer event began here two years ago when a representative of the American Cancer Society approached boys' coach Rick White about the idea of MVHS participating. She said the boosters want this event to continue every year.
Coaches vs. Cancer is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) that empowers basketball coaches, their teams, and local communities to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The program leverages the personal experiences, community leadership, and professional excellence of basketball coaches nationwide to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living through year-round awareness efforts, fundraising activities, and advocacy programs.
Coaches vs. Cancer evolved from a concept championed by Norm Stewart, former head coach of the University of Missouri's men's basketball program, cancer survivor, and member of the National Association of Basketball Coaches. He started the program by challenging fans to pledge a dollar amount for every three points made by his team during the season.
Because cancer has touched so many of our nation's basketball coaches, Coaches vs. Cancer offers them the unique opportunity to fight the disease. Through integrated fundraising activities and public awareness campaigns, participating coaches are truly making a difference in the fight against cancer and are raising awareness in their communities about the importance of cancer prevention, early detection, and making healthy lifestyle choices.
Today, more than 2,000 Division I, II, and III college coaches are involved in the program. Coaches vs. Cancer has raised nearly $50 million since its inception to support the American Cancer Society’s lifesaving mission to eliminate cancer as a life-threatening disease. Additionally, more than 100 high school coaches also participate in the program.