Chargers for Change teaming up against breast cancer
DONALDSON — Pink will be the color of the night at the LifePlex on Wednesday as Ancilla College basketball and Marshall County Ounce of Prevention team up for their annual “Chargers for Change” game to raise money and awareness of breast cancer.
The Chargers will take on Kalamazoo Valley Community College to raise money for the charity with the women’s game beginning at 5:30 p.m. and the men’s game to follow.
“The first few years we did worked with then national Coaches for a Cure organization,” said Ancilla Athletic Director Gene Reese. “We didn’t really feel like we had as much invested. Then we got together with Ounce of Prevention, and it really has been a great partnership.”
The Ounce of Prevention Foundation is a Marshall County not for profit organization that raises money for treatment and awareness of breast cancer. The Chargers for Change game is just one of many fundraisers that the Foundation holds each year. All money raised by the organization goes to help cancer patients in Marshall county.
“They (Ounce of Prevention) team with Louis Carver at St. Joseph Medical Center and she comes out each year to talk to our teams,” said Reese. “They all get a feel for what they’re playing for. It would be very easy to go into a game like this and not really understand what it is you’re playing for.”
Last year what the teams were playing for hit home in a big way.
Ancilla cheerleader Melanie Moore, who was only 19, tragically lost her battle with breast cancer just before returning to the college for the 2011-12 school year. The teams honored her at last year’s game.
“She had been diagnosed when she was younger, but when she came to school she was cleared medically and was in remission,” said Ancilla cheerleading coach Diana Cooper. “Two weeks before school started last year, her mother called and said she was sick and she might not be back until the school year started. About two weeks later she passed away.
“It was something that made the bond of our girls last year a lot stronger. It was an emotional time last year when we honored her at the game. Her parents came to the game. It was a special moment.”
As is tradition the Chargers will take on Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a team who lost an assistant coach just a few years ago to cancer.
“It’s been a traditional thing for us to have the game each year with them,” said Reese. “It’s something that is special to them as well.”
All proceeds raised at the game will go to help Ounce of Prevention’s work in Marshall County. You can learn more about the Ounce of Prevention Foundation at their website http://www.plymouthounceofprevention.org/index.html