Friday, February 12, 2010

“Shootin’ For a Cure” Wells Girls Basketball Program Raises 13K for York Hospital

On Jan. 16th, the entire girls’ basketball program in the Wells-Ogunquit C.S.D. participated in a special program called ‘Shootin’ for a Cure.’ When the day was over, $13,000 had been raised for the new Breast Care Center at York Hospital in Wells, which is due to be opened later in February.
Seventy-eight female athletes raised this staggering amount through donations and pledges, many of them $100 each. They also sold ‘Shootin’ For a Cure’ pink bracelets and t-shirts to fellow students and others. The various basketball teams also shot free throws from the foul line throughout the day in the Ronco Gymnasium at Wells High School. In the evening, after a junior varsity game and before a varsity game with Old Orchard Beach, a check was presented to Carol Campbell, RN, of York Hospital from Coaches Don Abbott, Kevin Fox and Pierce Cole.
Campbell is the leader for Breast Health Services at York Hospital in York and Wells. Along with Campbell, several other members of the York Hospital Breast Care Team attended including Kira Wendorf, M.D.
The idea for this fundraiser began with Coach Abbott, who is the Varsity Girls Basketball Coach. He had observed that the greater Wells community and several members of the District’s basketball community had been personally affected by breast cancer and he wanted something “civic minded” done by the athletes.
In September of 2009, Abbott formed a small committee of coaches to begin planning a fundraiser, a fundraiser that would involve all the girls in the entire girls’ basketball program. This included the 5th and 6th grade travel teams, the 7th and 8th grade teams, and the junior varsity and varsity teams at Wells High School.
Beginning at 9 a.m., and ending at 3 p.m., the various teams had the use of the gym for an hour each to allow team members to make 50 individual free throws from the foul line. The day ended in the evening with a varsity girls’ game between Wells and Old Orchard Beach.
Throughout the day, girls were dressed in pink, including pink tee shirts and shoelaces. At the varsity game in the evening, Wells team members and WHS Cheerleaders wore pink uniforms. The game was even played with a pink basketball.
“We had stuff going on all day,” said Abbott. He said numerous businesses had come in throughout the day and donated food for the players.
According to Abbott, the member from each team who raised the most money and the member from each team who scored the most free throws received prizes. Sophomore and Lady Warrior member Kelly Beisswanger made the most free throws with 47 out of 50.
Besides the many individual contributors, Abbott indicated that many groups supported the fundraising drive. For example, the Wrestling program at WHS pitched in $250 and the varsity girls’ team from OOB donated $175.
Time Warner Channel 3 in Wells recorded the varsity game and WMTW Channel 8 recorded footage for a 6 and 11 o’clock news story. At one point, radio station 98.7 FM The Bay was on site doing a live remote for two hours from the parking lot.
Webber Energy Fuels loaned their “pink” propane truck for publicity for the event.
“It was a long day but certainly a rewarding one,” summed up Abbott about the 9 to 9 day of basketball and fundraising. Abbott said, “It was great to involve girls from 10 years old and up through 18 year-olds; just to see the younger and the little kids being involved in it (was) pretty neat.”
Abbott wanted to acknowledge all who helped in this major fundraiser event. Some of those included Scott Lewia, Troy Brown, Marty Webb, Jay Audet, Judy Moody, Pat Foley (dressed as “Crusher” the lobster from the Maine Red Claws Basketball team), Karen Tufts and Nancy Colley. However, at one point in an interview, Abbott stressed that “90 percent” of the success of the fundraiser was “due to the girls.”
Photo caption: Lily Colley at left and Kelly Beisswanger at right are presenting $13,000 to Carol Campbell, RN, and leader for Breast Health Services of the York Hospital Breast Care team (at right). Holding the microphone is WHS teacher and coach Jay Audet. (Don Abbott photo)