By Joseph Hamrick
The Commerce Journal
Who knew playing volleyball could help fight cancer?
The Texas A&M University-Commerce Campus Recreation is hosting a Big Pink Volleyball tournament at the Morris Recreation Center from Oct. 1 through Oct. 3, with proceeds going toward the Bridge Breast Network and Jennifer Huie Scholarship fund.
The Bridge Breast Network is an organization that provides access to diagnostic and treatment services for breast cancer to low income, uninsured and underinsured individuals of north Texas.
The network has served more than 70,000 north Texas women in the 16 counties it serves, including the women of Hunt County.
The event will kick off on Oct. 1 at 6 p.m. in the gym at the recreation center.
Lt. Jason Bone, crime information officer for UPD, said he was glad to see the university support the nursing scholarship, which he set up for his sister just weeks before she died.
“I’m thrilled that they’re doing this for her,” he said.
The big pink tournament began in April of 2002 at Western Illinois University and has since spread to more than 24 universities and has raised more than $121,126 for breast cancer research funds.
This year’s theme is “The Fight of Our Lives,” which Asst. Director-IM Sports/Sport Clubs and event organizer Kari Osborne said is a community effort to help in raising awareness for breast cancer.
“We want to spread the message to our campus community that breast cancer is a disease that can occur in both men and women,” she said. “Additionally, we place an emphasis on our lives - many will experience breast cancer from a support role or care giver role - your mother, girlfriend, wife, daughter or best friend may battle this disease in their lifetime. So it’s not just a disease that impacts females, it impacts us all.”
Osborne said the event will raise awareness by educating people on types of breast cancer, facts related to the disease as well as screening tips for the disease.
“We also want the community to know that this event is also fun,” she said. “Because of our four foot giant kinball, it is open to any skill level and age-volleyball skills or previous playing experience are not required.”
The event is open to student, faculty, staff and community teams to participate in teams of a minimum of four individuals to a maximum of 10 at $5 per individual.
Big Pink t-shirts will be on sale for $10 at the event as well.
Throughout the event, prizes and giveaways will be handed out to participants.
Registration packets for the event are due by 5 p.m. Sept. 27 at the recreation center.