Casady Volleyball Spikes to Fight Cancer

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Dylan Dobson ’16, Arts and Entertainment Contributor

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in American women, with around one in eight women in the United States at risk for developing breast cancer during their lifetime. Over 220,000 women each year will be diagnosed with breast cancer, with 40,000 fatalities, estimates the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. Worldwide, breast cancer is the most common cancer in women. But let’s not forget, breast cancer affects men too. Cancer in men is rare, but the fatality rate among those affected remains high, approximately 410 each year, also according to the National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc.

In response, Casady’s girls’ volleyball team hosted the annual Dig Pink fundraiser. The senior girls, Mackenzie Blalock, Taylor McLain, Annie Dunn, Danielle Griffiths, and Deja Kirk, took on the responsibility this year of organizing the events. Bringing awareness to the School began with Mackenzie Blalock, who spoke during Chapel to reveal the design for the T-shirts on sale to benefit research. Whether students chose the short or long-sleeved shirt, the purchase granted each buyer an out-of-uniform the day of the big game between Girls’ Varsity Volleyball and Casady School faculty.

The girls’ varsity game against faculty took place Wednesday, Oct. 7. With the air vibrating from the music, and the walls of the gym decorated with pink posters, everyone was getting into the spirit of the festivities. At the entrance, fans were greeted with smiling faces offering sweet treats for one dollar each. Raffle tickets were also available, for prizes ranging from hair products to OU football tickets. As the crowd found seats after a stop by the donation table, both teams, girls’ varsity and faculty were warming up. The faculty team consisted of Dianne Dawkins, Matt Pena, Janine Perry, Phyllis Seitter, Sharada Shreve-Price, Whitney Stone, Lucila Taucer, Carlos Torres-Rodriguez, and Emily Wardrop. With each faculty point, Whitney Stone and Emily Wardrop could be seen on the sidelines.

After the game, Whitney Stone commented, “I love playing volleyball with my students for a good cause.” Girls’ varsity volleyball came out of the three games victorious, but whether on the court or in the stands, everyone left with a smile on their face.

“It’s so fun to play against the faculty. It seems to bring a crowd in to watch the game, and people love watching the faculty try to play!” Taylor McLain concluded. “It’s great to be able to plan this as a team and to design the event the way we want it. All the teammates got to give input for what they thought would be a good way to raise money for breast cancer. It’s a great event for a great cause!”

Fortunately, since around 1990, breast cancer fatalities have been declining. The National Breast Cancer Foundation Inc. explains this decline is a result of better screening, early detection, increased awareness, and improving treatment options. The funds raised by the Casady Community went to organizations to help fund research, and to help the families pay bills for treatment. Although this event started only a few years ago, as a community it is a tradition we plan to uphold until the fight for a cure is no longer necessary.