Held in conjunction with Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in support of the MaryEllen Locher Scholarship Fund for secondary education students whose lives have been impacted by the disease, the Volley initiative includes a flurry of activities leading up to the popular Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon and a day of events on the Lee University campus.
One of the campaign’s most lighthearted rituals — The Flamingo Flock — has already started. More details will be announced later by the Volley for a Cure 2012 Committee, according to Zandra Whaley, a group member who again is serving as lead flocker.
In the meantime, and on another Volley for a Cure front, the Lee University Lady Flames volleyball team is helping to jump-start the annual blitz on Saturday at a local restaurant.
From 1 to 8 p.m., the Countryside Cafe at 8223 Mahan Gap Road, on the outskirts of Ooltewah and a long stone’s throw from Cleveland, will host its third annual fundraiser for Volley for a Cure. Beginning at 4 p.m., members of the Lady Flames will be on hand giving away free pink ice cream, assisting diners and selling “Pink is the New Black” T-shirts, according to Wendy Higdon, also a Volley committee member.
“We are so grateful to Countryside Cafe for their continued support of Volley for a Cure,” Higdon said. “It is a privilege to be associated with such a great cause and with these civic leaders who are giving of their time, their business and their hearts to bring public awareness of breast cancer to those within our surrounding community.”
She added, “Countryside Cafe is helping to make a difference in the lives of families who have been impacted by the effects of breast cancer.”
Higdon urged area residents to support Volley for a Cure by dropping by the cafe either for a meal, a visit, a T-shirt or some pink ice cream.
“I hope everyone who can ... will come out to Countryside Cafe on Saturday and help to make this year’s event the best yet!” Higdon stressed.
The restaurant, popular to many Cleveland residents because of its low-profile, country atmosphere, is entering its third year of support for Volley for a Cure.
“We love that the Lady Flames volleyball team comes to the restaurant and works with all our employees to serve our customers,” according to Marlene Garen, Countryside Cafe owner. “Our community is aware of how Volley for a Cure promotes and impacts the local colleges to support the families who have been burdened with a diagnosis of breast cancer by doing something positive to further their education.”
Garen pointed to the opportunities for pink ice cream and Volley T-shirts, but also an assortment of prizes to be given away courtesy of SouthEast Bank & Trust.
T-shirt costs are $5 for Small, Medium and Large; and $7 for X-Large and 2X. Children’s sizes also are available at $5.
Higdon pointed out Saturday’s hosting of the Lady Flames volleyballers by the cafe, and the always popular Flamingo Flock, are being followed by an array of additional activities in support of Volley for a Cure and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All are leading up to the final couple of days of events on the Lee campus in early November.
Other events, with additional information to be announced later, include:
n Powder Puff football game at Walker Valley High School on Thursday, Oct. 18. This event will include five local high schools.
n Lawyers vs. Doctors benefit softball game on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 6:30 p.m. on the Lee University Lady Flames softball field.
n Breast Cancer Survivors Luncheon scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 1. More details will be announced later.
n Volley for a Cure “Game Day” finale held on the Lee campus scheduled for Friday, Nov. 2. The day traditionally includes a variety of activities such as a Pink Party, Pack the Stands With Pink and other events, and the celebration closes with a sanctioned volleyball match between the Lady Flames and Coastal Georgia.
“All proceeds from Volley for a Cure go to a young person whose life has been affected by a diagnosis of breast cancer,” Higdon said. “This year’s recipient will be presented with the scholarship at the Volley for a Cure matchup between the Lady Flames and Coastal Georgia.”
The game gets under way at 7 p.m.
Higdon is no stranger to the Volley for a Cure scholarship. Five years ago her own daughter, Gretchen (Higdon) Ratchford, was the scholarship’s first recipient. A year later, her son-in-law Barrett Ratchford, received the Volley for a Cure education support.
Each year, Volley for a Cure is made possible by a large collection of area businesses and organizations that serve as sponsors. These will be identified in future announcements, as well as detailed information about this year’s Volley and all of its accompanying activities.
Volley for a Cure originated six years ago when Lady Flames volleyball coach Andrea Hudson and her team organized it to support breast cancer awareness, to assist students whose lives have been impacted by breast cancer and to instill a sense of community involvement in the young athletes.