WESTPORT, Conn. Saturday's game against Danbury High was a big win for the Staples High School varsity football team in more ways than one. Not only did the Wreckers walk away undefeated, they helped raise more than $6,000 to support local women with breast cancer.
More than just the team's home opener, the game served as a breast cancer awareness event and fundraiser as part of the team's "Get Your Pink On" campaign. The campaign was launched last year.
"The idea was born as so many national football teams promote and support breast cancer awareness," said Staples parent Tammy Zelkowitz, a campaign co-chair. "We knew it could be done at a community level involving Staples students and fans to help women in need in our community."
During the game, players wore pink gloves, cheerleaders donned pink and white pom-poms and pink "Wreck It, Cure It" T-shirts, and many fans wore pink.
On the fundraising level, cheerleaders held a bake sale, and pink rally towels, Staples hats and "Wreck It, Cure It" T-shirts were sold during the game. Players also sold these items at school in the days before the game.
"As these young men approach adulthood, it's great that they have taken on this cause and have become aware of this disease that could possibly affect and impact them personally someday," Zelkowitz said.
Overall, the event raised $6,100, Zelkowitz said. The money will be donated to Pink Aid, a nonprofit organization that finances breast cancer support services for local women who are uninsured or under-insured. Westports own Mitchell family founded the organization.
Hoping to raise even more funds and awareness in the future, Zelkowitz said the team would like to see more varsity teams participate in the "Get Your Pink On" campaign.
"It was great to see the players' excitement about this worthwhile event, to see both players and fans sporting pink on game day and the level of awareness this game generated," she said. "The sea of fans in pink was terrific."
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