Saturday, Feb. 16, 2008 was a day to remember for the West Chester University Lady Golden Rams basketball team. They woke up in the morning preparing to fight two opponents, instead of the usual one they face in the early part of Saturday afternoons during basketball season. One of their opponents was the East Stroudsburg University Lady Warriors. The other was breast cancer. In a day labeled “Think Pink,” the Lady Rams donned pink attire all game long. Everything from their pink warm-up t-shirts with their patented “Chop Wood” team slogan to pink socks and shoelaces, the team spotlighted this deadly disease that claims thousands of female lives every year. Joined by their fans who wore pink shirts, pink ties, and a myriad of other pink articles of clothing, the Lady Rams raised approximately $3,000 through a range of fundraisers.
Keri Haibach, the Associate Director for Athletic Development at West Chester University, was in charge of setting up all of the different charity events. Haibach was at the helm of a letter writing campaign in which the Lady Rams raised about $2,000 and was in contact with XCell Wireless, which donated $500 to the cause as well.
With roughly $2,500 in the bank before game day arrived, Lady Rams head coach Dierdre Kane was optimistic that the game would help to raise at least $500 dollars more to hit the magical $3,000 mark.
Many fans who made a donation to the cause were given a complimentary pink back-pack for their contributions along with pins, stickers, and other items displaying the pink ribbon that is a widely used symbol for breast cancer awareness.
During halftime, one lucky fan walked away with a pink wireless phone from XCell from a raffle that saw those proceeds also benefit the cause. Before the final tallies were made, the mark of $3,000 was predicted to have been reached by both Haibach and Kane.
One important aspect of this day was knowing that East Stroudsburg was the Lady Rams opponent on the court, but their ally in the game of life. A wonderful gesture, the Lady Warriors of East Stroudsburg wore their own pink shirts with their respective school’s logo and slogan.
One common theme throughout women’s college basketball in recent weeks has been the pink wave that has flooded arenas around the nation. One major figure in the fight against breast cancer is the head coach for the Lady Wolfpack team from North Carolina State University, Kay Yow, whom Coach Kane refers to as one of her heroes.
“[Kay Yow] has really spearheaded this movement and she’s been one of my idols for a long time and we’re glad to support it.”
A 75-60 victory for the Lady Rams was a perfect ending to a day that saw money raised by the team, media, friends, and family. Breast cancer is still a prevalent enemy among women in the world today and seeing student athletes rise to the occasion to combat it sends a wonderful message to communities throughout the country and around the world. The Lady Rams had a day devoted to helping this fight and their continuing efforts along with the support of people around the world will hopefully one day be able to beat breast cancer.
Mike Heiman is a third-year student majoring in Elementary Education with a minor in literacy. He can be reached at MH606613@wcupa.edu.