Brief silence washes over the stands while a perfect set from varsity setter Lizzie Lees (‘22) sails through the air, and outside hitter Ellen Shafer (‘21) approaches for the kill. Confident that the positive but rather unorganized faculty team won’t return the swing, the girls’ volleyball squad and fans alike are completely caught off guard when Mr. Banecker slides his foot under the ball making an incredible save. The crowd roars at the perfect pass made by the Casady English teacher of six years. As the Cyclone volleyball squad scrambled to recover from the shocking save, the tip by math teacher, Mr. Halpern, hit the court just inside the ten-foot line. The crowd erupts with laughter and cheers as the faculty team celebrates their biggest point of the evening.
Casady’s Dig Pink is a volleyball game which is played between the varsity squad and select upper division faculty members to benefit breast cancer awareness. Complete with t-shirt sales, an out-of-uniform day, and two bake sales, the spirited event recognizes breast cancer awareness month, which is nationally acknowledged as the month of October. For the first time since 2016, Casady’s Dig Pink took place on October 8th at 6pm in the Bennett Athletic Center’s south gym. Varsity libero, Celine Vuong (‘20), chaired the event: “The tradition of involving the teachers in the game we love is really fun and special.” Vuong remarked.
In years past, Dig Pink has been a fun way to rally the student body and faculty to raise money and awareness for breast cancer using friendly competition. Each varsity player nominates one or two teachers to fill an esteemed spot on the faculty team. The mix of players, coaches, and teachers makes for a light hearted and comical show for the students, parents, and other faculty who fill the stands. “Teachers like Dr. Torres and Dr. Wardrop have a blast playing with other teachers and staff” remembers Vuong(‘20), from taking part in the match her freshman and sophomore years. Dr. Wardrop, Dr. Torres, Mr. Banecker, and Coach Gonzaga are a few historic fan-favorites in the fundraising match.
The Varsity squad ultimately defeated the Faculty team in a two set brawl after overcoming controversial officiating and an automatic six point deficit. The excitement of the competition kept the audience on the edge of their seats and in stitches. On the court, combination of jovial trash talk and encouragement created a competitive and comical atmosphere on both sides of the net.
Though the student-faculty rivalry is what creates excitement and draws the crowd, revenue is produced by featured Dig Pink t-shirt sales and by a bake sale put on by all the high school girls volleyball players. This year, Vuong(‘20) has chosen to donate 100% of the proceeds to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. “Research is more valuable than just raising awareness” Vuong(‘20) discusses, “It’s important to find the cure.” The soul mission of the Breast Cancer Research Foundation is to research treatments and cures for breast cancer.
When founded by Evelyn Lauder in 1993, the mission of the foundation was to find a cure for breast cancer through clinical and traditional research. Today, The Breast Cancer Research Foundation funds over 600 researchers in 6 different continents and 13 different countries. In total, BCRF has raised $569.4 million dollars since its founding.
Casady Dig Pink’s comeback was an overwhelming success. The game united the casady upper division community outside of the day-to-day routine, raised awareness for breast cancer, and cultivated important conversations about what the individual can do to make a lasting impact. By buying baked goods or t-shirts, and participating in the game, members of the Casady community found joy, empowerment, and a little bit of competition in contributing to a cause which is changing the world.