When Ken Krabitz took over running the Catonsville Girls Recreation Basketball program in 2016 he vowed to make a difference.
In addition to raising the number of girls in the program from 60 to 197, on Jan. 27th he organized the first Coaches vs. Cancer Pink Sock Day to raise money for the American Cancer Society.
Pink socks were bought by coaches and players for $10 and the kids wore them at games played at Catonsville Middle School and Catonsville Elementary School.
Chrissy Schifkovitz, from the American Cancer Society, was there to offer tips for people whose lives have been touched by cancer.
“She gave out cups and bracelets and pins to the girls as they were coming in and out,” Krabitz said.
Schifkovitz was the one who initially contacted Krabitz, who coaches teams in the 11-12 and 13-17 age groups in the Catonsville program and is also an assistant boys coach at Chapelgate Christian Academy.
“I thought, ‘Let me see if I can incorporate that into the rec program,’” said Krabitz, whose uncle and his friend are both fighting cancer. “One of our coaches in the 11-12 league, Todd Richardson, is fighting cancer right now and that clicked, and also what my uncle is going through.”
Schifkovitz suggested the girls try the pink socks and Krabitz was determined to make it happen.
“I said, ‘That’s great, let’s do it, let’s see how much we can raise.’” he recalled.
They ended up raising $1,018 through socks purchased and donations.
Krabitz, president and project manager of Color By Design Remodeling, donated to the cause.
Greg Wall, of Wall to Wall Construction, and Matt Crowder, of FLA Baltimore, purchased the socks for the players and they wore them with pride.
“They [girls] had a good time with it and a lot of the coaches had them on and wore shorts with their socks,” Krabitz said. “It was fun and we got a lot of positive feedback from parents and coaches.”
Krabitz also got positive feedback from Chapelgate Christian head basketball coach Fritz Frierson when he found out that Chapelgate’s game at Annapolis Area Christian on Saturday, Feb. 3, was the school’s Pink Out game.
“I said to coach Frierson, ‘I’ve got these pink socks and I’ll get them for our guys,’” Krabitz said. “It will be a surprise, we’ll walk in with our own pink on, so we are going to do that Saturday when we go to play them.”
Krabitz, who played basketball at Mount Saint Joseph and coached the Gaels’ freshman team to two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association freshman team titles and coached the Gaels’ JV to a 62-16 record, before spending four seasons as an assistant at Western Tech, isn’t putting the pink socks in storage.
“I guess we will have to try it again next year because it worked so well,”said Krabitz, who is following through on his goal when he took over the Catonsville program. “I took over the league a couple of years ago and it had only like 60 girls, so I’m trying to get more involved in it and it’s grown the last couple of years.”