The objective of the American Cancer Society, a hub of breast cancer research and other resources, can be boiled down to a single goal: health of the people.
It's a mission shared by Eldersburg's Merritt Athletic Clubs, said Merritt Program Director Sherri Lively, and so the institutions have enjoyed a long-standing relationship.
For the month of October, the athletic club will sponsor several breast cancer-related "pink" events. The fees associated with those events will largely benefit the American Cancer Society.
Lively said that the society's national wing works with the Merritt Clubs in Eldersburg and several in Baltimore county. Typically, the branches of Merritt partner for the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Branch Cancer Walk, one of which occur in Mt. Airy 10 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20 this year.
"It's a really great, friendly group to work with," she said of the American Cancer Society employees.
Throughout October, several of the training classes will be labeled "pink classes" - Lively said the price for each is a suggested donation of $5, which will be funneled to the American Cancer Society. They range in time and type, but include children's workout, pilates, cycling and more. A full calendar is available by calling the center at 410-549-8855.
One of the club's largest event is the brainchild of the center's raquetball league in conjunction with racquetball manufacturer Ektelon. They are sponsoring a two-day tournament, the Play It In Pink Ektelon Classic, beginning 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 26. The last round will be 1 p.m. Sunday.
Eldersburg's branch of Merritt has never sponsored a raquetball tournament before, according to the racquetball League Director Marc Maschal.
Maschal began planning for the tournament two months ago. He said when he realized that the tournament date would fall in October, it would be a good chance to highlight breast cancer awareness month.
"I think people are aware of breast cancer awareness month so much more now - they see it on T.V., and it's such a positive thing," Maschal said.
The club will accept a maximum of 30 players, members and non-members, ages 16 and older. Only a basic understanding of racquetball rules is required, according to Lively. The top three players will be awarded trophies and a gift card of a yet undetermined amount which can be used at the club's pro shop.
The pro shop contains offers for work-out sessions with the clubs trainers, as well as Under Armour merchandise.
"That's the most popular items," Lively said.
You must pre-register in the tournament either on the club website or by calling the center - at least 25 spots are available, as of Oct. 8.
Eighty percent of the $40 registration fee will be donated to the American Cancer Society.
A silent auction will occur concurrently with the tournament, with prizes provided by both Ektelon and Merritt.
Ektelon will put up assorted racquetball equipment for auction, and Merritt will offer personal training sessions - all those proceeds will be set aside for the American Cancer Society.
Jen Burdette, spokeswoman for the American Cancer Society, said she appreciates the partnership between the two entities.
She said the racquetball tournament, which is a first this year, will be a wonderful community event.
"It's just a way for the community to connect," she said.