Joining the fight against cancer
October filled with plethora of events with common goal: raising awareness.
By ANGIE HAFLICH
Numerous cancer awareness events are held in Garden City throughout the year, but because October is breast cancer awareness month, a large number of these events have taken place recently or are scheduled to take place later in the month.
One of October's events is 'Dig Pink Night' for breast cancer awareness, which was held Thursday night at Garden City High School.
In its fifth year, the event raises money for breast cancer awareness and research and is coordinated by the Setters Club, the parent support organization for the GCHS volleyball team.
"The Setters Club works with the volleyball teams to get donations from the community for raffle drawing ... to raise breast cancer awareness," said Jody Bordewick, coordinator of the event.
The event was held on a night when the Lady Buffaloes were playing host to a volleyball quadrangular. The Buffaloes and teams from Dodge City, Scott City and Ulysses high schools wore pink uniforms to show their support, and before the final matches between GCHS and Dodge City, the Lady Buffaloes players presented carnations to those people who were representing victims of cancer, as well as to survivors of cancer as part of the event's Survivor/Memorial Walk.
"Each one (was) presented with a live carnation to signify life, by the players of Garden City," Bordewick said.
Bordewick said that the event usually raises about $2,000 from raffle ticket and T-shirt sales. Fans who wore pink received a free raffle ticket for a chance to win raffle prizes. One of the prizes was a pink volleyball autographed by all of the participating teams.
Additional raffle tickets and T-shirts that said 'Dig Pink, 2012 GCHS Volleyball,' also were sold, with proceeds going to the Side-Out Foundation, which is an organization that unites volleyball players and coaches to work toward the common goal of furthering breast cancer awareness, education and patient services, according to its website, www.side-out.org.
"They're going like gangbusters. We had some long sleeve ones that sold right away," Tami Maynard, who operated the T-shirt stand Thursday night, said. "We did pre-orders, so we sold quite a few that way, as well."
There was also a contest held for the "pinkest" fans, which proved to be a tight race among a large group of high school boys who not only wore pink, but who also were covered in pink body paint.
"The guys in the pinkest fan contest win movie tickets. It's so much fun when the guys get involved," she said, as the "pink" guys cheered GCHS on.
Another event, inspired by a local victim of brain cancer, is the annual Leave a Legacy Foundation's Legacy 10K and Spirit 5K, which is scheduled to take place this morning at Lee Richardson Zoo, 405 S. Fourth St.
The race began as a memorial to Laura Kleysteuber, a 30-year-old mother of two who died in 2006 after a six-year battle with brain cancer.
Registration will take place at 6:30 a.m. today, with the 10K and 5K starting at 7:30 a.m. ¬
A pancake feed will take place From 8 to 10 a.m., followed by a Kid's 1-Mile Fun Round around the zoo at 9 a.m. and then a watch party at Samy's Steakhouse, 1911 E. Kansas Ave., for the KU-KSU football game.
In the past, the foundation has provided St. Catherine Hospital with funds to purchase life-saving equipment to diagnose and treat patients.
Over the past few years, the foundation has purchased a digital imaging scope, laptop computers, radiation shields, cameras and other equipment requested by the radiology department. In April 2010, the foundation made its largest single donation of $28,000 toward the purchase of the digital mammography machine for St. Catherine.
Proceeds from this year's race will support a cancer-free screening evening to be held on Nov. 13 at St. Catherine's Cancer Center. Funds raised also will be used to support St. Catherine's Digital Mammography Program.
Another upcoming cancer awareness event in Garden City is The Zumbathon "Party in Pink," which is scheduled to take place 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Garden City Recreation Commission.
Zumba instructors from Garden City, Lakin and Ulysses will lead participants through their favorite Zumba routines.
Refreshments will be served during the event, door prizes will be awarded and Party-in-Pink T-shirts will be available for purchase. DJ "Kid Broc" will be providing the music at this year's event. Admission is $10, and proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation and benefits breast cancer research. For more information, call Kathy White at (620) 355-1801.
On Oct. 20, St. Catherine Hospital's Ninth Annual Autumn Gala is scheduled at the hospital, 401 E. Spruce. Like the Leave a Legacy Run, the goal of the dinner event is to raise funds for the hospital's digital mammography program.
This year's gala, a black tie event, will feature the sights, sounds and tastes of Spain.
Tickets to this year's gala are $100. For more information, contact St. Catherine Philanthropy Coordinator Beth Koksal at 272-2530.
There are many other cancer awareness events that take place throughout the year.
The Finney County Relay For Life is an event in which cancer survivors, those currently living with cancer, and friends and family of loved ones who have died from the disease congregate for an overnight walking event. This year's event took place Memorial Stadium on the campus of Horace J. Good Middle School. The event is held overnight as a way of symbolizing the journey that cancer patients go through from diagnosis to healing. The funds raised benefit cancer patients in Finney County.
Another pink event is the Pink Heals Tour, in which a fleet of pink fire trucks are on display showing support for the "Cares Enough to Wear Pink" and "Pink Heals Movement." This year, the pink trucks were on display at the Clarion Inn, where firefighters greeted the public and stood to show their support for the cause.
The tour is part of a nationwide event in which pink fire trucks make appearances at local venues, in order to spread awareness about cancer .
This year, the GCFD held an informal truck signing, allowing survivors of cancer along with others affected by the disease to sign the trucks as they make their travels. The GCFD also sold Pink Heals T-shirts, proceeds from which go to local cancer charities.
Another locally-inspired 24-hour softball tournament titled "Doing the Wright Thing," was held June 30 in Cimarron.
Heather Wright-Renick, a Cimarron native and nurse at St. Catherine Hospital, was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier in the year, so friends stepped up to coordinate the event, in order to raise money to help in Wright-Renick's fight against breast cancer.