For the second year in a row, the Stevens Point Area Senior High School (SPASH) volleyball team will host an event in support of breast cancer awareness.
The Panthers will hold Diggin’ the Cause at the SPASH Fieldhouse on Thursday, Sept. 20, with all proceeds going to the new Breast Care Center Fund at St. Michael’s Foundation.
Doors will open at 5 p.m. for the event, which includes a silent auction, raffles and a number of pink items for sale, and will conclude with the SPASH varsity volleyball team taking on Wisconsin Rapids at 7 p.m.
“We’re excited that we’re in the situation to be able to do this again,” said SPASH volleyball head coach Julie Johnson. “And we’re excited because all money raised this year is staying local.”
Last year, SPASH worked with the Side-Out Foundation out of Washington D.C., a national nonprofit organization that helps teams organize Dig Pink games.
After the Panthers raised more than $7,300 last year, to surpass their goal of $4,000, they decided to hold the event themselves the second time around..
“We had such a successful event last year, that we knew that we could do it on our own,” said Johnson. “So we’re working with Ministry to keep all of the funds local.”
The Breast Care Center Fund supports a number of oncology-related activities, including breast health education, as well as raises funds to further support breast cancer patients served by Ministry St. Michael’s Hospital.
“It helps them in all aspects of the disease and what they’re dealing with,” said Johnson. “It provides them help if they need financial assistance, it helps when they need wigs and financial assistance with that, it provides transportation, and all kinds of things that help cancer patients deal with their treatment.
“And Ministry has this new breast cancer center that they’re going to be opening, so it’s just great timing for us to be doing this, because those funds can be directed to that new center that they’re opening up,” said Johnson.
Doors for Diggin’ the Cause will open at 5 p.m. on Thursday, with a silent auction set up before the SPASH junior varsity game begins at 5:30 p.m.
Bucket raffles will also take place before, during and after the volleyball matches, including a raffle for gift certificates, as Johnson said that area business have donated more than $500 worth of gift certificates.
A number of pink items will also be for sale throughout the evening, including a limited number of Diggin’ the Cause pink T-shirts for $10 each.
Food will also be available, while Dave Kallaway and Stacy Cole of 95.5 WIFC will serve as the emcees for the event.
“That’s just going to add a really fun element to the night,” said Johnson. “People know who they are, so it’ll be nice that they’ll be here in the gym, and people will get to meet them and talk to them.”
The SPASH varsity team (16-6) will then wrap up then evening when they play Wisconsin Rapids at 7 p.m.
For those that are unable to attend the match next Thursday, donations can be sent to Diggin’ the Cause/SPASH Volleyball, 1201 North Point Drive, Stevens Point, WI 54481.
And after raising more than $7,300 with the Pink Game last year, SPASH has set its goal at $7,500 for next Thursday’s event.
“This year I think it’s going to be bigger and better,” said Johnson. “Preliminary numbers from our T-shirt sales are incredible.
“And then all of the things that we have going on that evening, with the auctions and the bucket raffles, I just feel really positive that we’re going to bring in a lot of money for the cause,” said Johnson. “We’re just looking to provide this environment for our community and our school district, that really demonstrates how much we want to help, and that we care about these people and what they’re going through.”