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‘Dig Pink’ volleyball cancer fundraiser happening this week in Churchville’s Arena Club league

For the past decade, Dig Pink celebrations have been held at high school volleyball matches throughout Harford County and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and related issues, Dig Pink is alive and well in Harford County this week.

The celebration started Monday at The Arena Club Volleyball League, where 300 or so male and female players, many wearing pink, showed up to play on the scheduled league play day.

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Dig Pink is a way to bring awareness and raise funds for the Side-Out Foundation and its fight against breast cancer.

“This year is so totally different than any other year we’ve ever done Dig Pink. Of course with all the restrictions, there’s just not a lot we could do this year to compare with previous years,” Amy Markland, Dig Pink coordinator.

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Over the years, raffles, door prizes and lots of other money generating things have been held during the month of October, but those meant a lot of interaction with people.

“We’ve done the best that we can and I think that we’re going to raise a decent chunk of money, I believe, but it’s just a little different this year,” Markland said.

Different or not, the kids are into it.

“They’re definitely in it and we have some contests we’re gonna do. It really comes to a climax on Saturday, so we’re having a ‘Pink Out’ photo contest to see which teams can get the most pink,” league organizer Dave Simon said. “Some people are even bringing their animals, I think, or pets to join the picture and we’re also doing a video challenge. They can have a little bit of fun, kind of spreading the word about the campaign through a video challenge.”

Markland added that the league is doing more with awareness with the social media videos and photos. Just lots of virtual stuff.

Dig Pink came to Bel Air High School in 2010 when Markland’s husband, Tim, was the girls volleyball coach. “It started out as Tim wanting to do something to involve the girls and something bigger than just themselves,” Amy Markland said.

Since that time, Dig Pink matches have been happening throughout Harford County. “Over the past 10 years, more and more, as you know, have been also doing Dig Pink games,” Markland said.

This year, though, it’s all-for-one effort.

“It’s kind of cool when you think about it. You’re usually having these individual school games and now without having the official school games right now, but having this league where there’s kids involved that are typically in those schools,” Markland said. “Being that whole overused phrase of ‘we’re all in this together’, but literally, we are all in this together.”

There are shirts for sale and all players have been supplied a Dig Pink mask.

Ethan Little, a Fallston junior, is participating in the league. “I think it’s nice that they are doing a fundraiser, while everyone’s out here having fun. Raising money, good job,” he said.

“Doesn’t matter what school you go to, cancer is cancer and it doesn’t matter where the funds come from. It’s all going to the same place,” Markland said.

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The Dig Pink weeklong celebration will finish up Saturday at the league’s Arena Club courts. Play runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The league season will end Oct. 24.

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