Coach Bridget Ebert's sister was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year.
A group of teenage girls is learning at an impressionable age what it means to be a caring and giving member of their community. Nancy Naeve Brown continues her series Heroes Among Us and found some high school volleyball players at Tri-Valley who are Set for a Cure: a big event aimed at raising money and awareness for breast cancer.
The Tri-Valley Mustang volleyball team has joined a fairly new tradition that's gaining a lot of momentum in the region; embracing October in all its pink glory as National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. It makes cense since it's in the middle of their season and because these young girls know 1 in 8 of them will be affected by the life altering, sometime life threatening cancer at some point in their life. For three years they've sported pink uniforms during home games in October and honored cancer survivors.
"This year we decided to do something a lot bigger because cancer has hit closer to home for me personally. The statistics are mind blowing. My best example is my sister. She is only 32 years old and you would have never thought a 32 year old would be fighting breast cancer and a lot of people in the community and our staff is going through it. It was alarming to me. I want the girls to know it's not just a number. These are real people with real situations," Varsity Volleyball Coach Bridget Ebert said
This team considers each other family so when their Coach Bridget Ebert's sister, a single mother of three young children from Harrisburg, was diagnosed with breast cancer in February 2012 everyone felt her pain, everyone took it hard.
"It was really hard. When it affects her it affects all of us. Her tears get to all of us," Tri-Valley Senior Olivia Huntimer said.
"We are all so close and to see her struggle through that was really hard on us girls," Tri-Valley Senior Katie Nelson said.
That's why this year the whole team is totally behind "Set for a Cure" which is Saturday September 29th. It's an extravaganza that seniors and their parents started working on this summer. It's aimed at raising money for local cancer patients while getting girls and folks in the Crooks, Colton, and Lyons communities talking about the most common cancer among women in this country by knowing what to look for and the importance of early detection.
"I'm hoping a lot of people come out and we can raise enough to give back and try to make a difference for other women, Olivia said.
The girls are hoping to raise a lot of money through a silent auction. A few of the items the girls have asked business to donate include a pearl necklace from Raymond's in Sioux Falls.
"I'm hoping as my players become more involved in this process and do more things in their community, they take that with them after they graduate high school. The experience isn't how many games you won or how many tournaments you've won, but it's what I got out of my experience, "Coach Ebert said.
Coach Ebert is teaching her girls the best lesson she can, a lesson she learned from her sister a survivor; Always Fight Like A Girl!
The Set for a Cure Extravaganza to kick-off Breast Cancer Awareness Month is Saturday, September 29th from 9 to 1 at the Tri-Valley school near Colton. The event includes a Sanford Health booth, making cards and blankets for cancer patients, entertainment, face painting, concessions and a silent auction.
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