October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and many of Carroll County’s fall high school sports teams are raising funds, and awareness, for a cure against a disease that affects 1 in 8 women over the course of their lifetime.
Traditionally, the awareness comes in the form of fundraising activities that get students involved.
Pink is the color of the month. Athletes don everything from neon jerseys, T-shirts, socks, and cleats, with fans in the stands showing support on signs and placards. Bake sales help raise money. Teams and athletic departments choose to donate funds to charity.
Charities such as “A Sister’s Promise for Hope,” with an event that took place Monday night at Francis Scott Key High School, led by the varsity volleyball team and Penny Snader.
The Eagles wanted to honor Tiffany Henning, a Francis Scott Key graduate and teacher at Sykesville Middle School who was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer in 2016. Henning, 34, died in August.
They also honored Ann Worsham, Snader’s mother, who died in June at age 75.
Henning’s sister Melanie started “A Sister’s Promise for Hope,” and Snader said she reached out to their father, a co-worker at Mount Airy Middle School, looking to contribute.
“From there it just took off,” said Snader, whose daughter Jocelyn is a senior on FSK’s volleyball team.
Mount Airy and Sykesville middle schools chipped in. Fans who attended Monday’s volleyball match against Manchester Valley had their chance, too. Snader said the Eagles and Mavericks both sported pink jerseys during the match.
The event raised a little more than $2,000, Snader said, and “A Sister’s Promise for Hope” was close to reaching its 2019 goal of $50,000 as of Tuesday afternoon according to its website.
Similar functions are taking place across the county this month, at various high school sporting events.
Winters Mill raised more than $2,000 between its field hockey, football, girls soccer, and volley teams, said athletic director Jen Gosselin. Falcons field hockey coach Christine Bradley said her team donated funds to help Danielle Hankey, a field hockey player at Tuscarora High in Frederick County, who was diagnosed earlier this year with a rare form of bone cancer.
Century’s golf team is wearing pink this month, said coach Megan Harris, and the Knights are writing initials of someone they know affected by cancer on their pink golf balls in honor of their battles.
Liberty’s recent “Dig Pink” volleyball event included the Lions giving their donations, coach Vicki Williams said, to Carroll Hospital Center’s Center for Breast Health via gift officer Stephanie Stambaugh Moore, a former volleyball standout at Francis Scott Key and North Carolina State.
Other teams and schools have more events coming in the next two weeks, events like the one Snader helped orchestrate Monday at Francis Scott Key. The Eagles’ “Team Mom” said she was taken aback by the outpouring of support, with players and parents from both teams doing what they could to help the cause.
“That’s what a community is,” Snader said. “That’s what a community does, comes together to support each other.”