Thu. Aug 11th, 2022

 

West Chester University’s women’s basketball team hosted their annual Play 4Kay event during their game versus Bloomsburg University Saturday afternoon in Hollinger Field House. Play 4Kay, formerly known as “Pink Zone,” is a chance for Division II schools to raise money and awareness for women’s cancer research. Kay Yow was a former North Carolina State women’s basketball coach who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987. Yow lost her battle with breast cancer on Jan. 24, 2009. With the creation of the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, Kay hoped to raise money to further develop cancer research.  The fund started the Play 4Kay initiative in 2007, and since then has raised over $2 million for women’s cancer research.  Last year, WCU placed No. 1 in Division II schools after raising $7,000 for the Kay Yow Foundation. 

Tip off began at 1 p.m. but doors opened at noon for raffles, T-shirts, pink hair extensions, face painting, and more. Different baskets were raffled off, including prizes of Phillies and Sixers tickets and Flyers memorabilia.  With all the festivities, students, parents, alumni, and fans all filed into Hollinger Fieldhouse to show their support. “It feels great to be able to come back where I played and see my old team play for a great cause,” former player Allison Hostetter said. 

For one day every year, West Chester’s women’s basketball team plays for something more than just the game. “Every day there are people that go through a struggle like breast cancer for example, and we are just playing on the court thinking that the game is the most important thing, but really it’s not. There are people out there suffering, so to be able to play for those people it is just a great feeling and I know my old team feels the same way,” Hostetter added. 

The Lady Rams entered the game fifth in the PSAC East as they faced off against Bloomsburg who sits atop the division. Although the game did not go as anticipated, with West Chester being defeated 64-54, the event was much more of a success.  For some, it hit very close to home. 

“One of our teammates’ mothers was just diagnosed with breast cancer, so the Pink Zone game kind of hit hard for all of us, simply for the fact that she is close to us and supports us in all of our games, so we wanted to support her,” junior guard Paige Elliot said. 

“In the beginning of the game, we rewarded her with the Pink Zone ball and had her come out and do the tap to show her we are here for support,” Elliott added.  In attendance was Comcast SportsNet’s own Amy Fadool who served as an honorary chairperson and threw up the honorary tipoff at the beginning of both the men’s and women’s games. 

Along with Play 4Kay, West Chester also celebrated their “Senior Day.”  Ambreelinne Ortman, Meghan Kerrigan, Carly Strickland, and Alexandra Lennon were honored before the game. Lennon and Ortman had big Senior Day games as Lennon scored 12 points, grabbed seven rebounds, and blocked four shots, and Ortman was able to grab 10 rebounds of her own. 

Overall, West Chester’s Play 4Kay event was another success raising money for women’s cancer research. Although it was a beneficial day, it does not stop there, as a cure has still not been found. As we move forward, hopefully 2014’s campaign can be even more successful than the last. Thanks to all who came out in support for a great cause.  To make a general donation to the Play 4Kay initiative and the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, visit www.play4kay.org. You can make a general donation to the cause, or you can donate to a specific collegiate team. West Chester needs donations if it is to repeat as the top raiser in Division II.

Brian Fiocco is a fourth-year student majoring in communications  studies with a minor in journalism. He can be reached at BF719935@wcupa.edu.

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