The Power of Pink

Stacey Dach, Highland Chronicle reporter

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It was no coincidence the Highland volleyball team, in conjunction with the nursing students, hosted their Dig Pink event in October. This being breast cancer awareness month, it was perfect timing to honor both those currently fighting cancer and those who count themselves as survivors. One thing that made this evening especially poignant is that Mary Davis, head coach of the Black Hawk College Braves (also members of the NJCAA Region IV) volleyball team, lost her battle with cancer this past week.  A moment of silence was held in her honor before the start of the match.  In addition, all survivors and those currently fighting cancer, who all got to attend the event for free, were asked to stand and be recognized during a brief ceremony. 

With both the volleyball players and the nursing students wearing matching tie-dye pink t-shirts, pink was definitely the predominant color for the 6:00 PM October 11th event at the YMCA Sports Complex. The nursing students manned tables in the lobby with various educational pamphlets on the ABC’s of breast health, eating smart, and cancer facts for women, just to name a few.  They also held a raffle with several baskets donated by local businesses being given away. For two dollars, one could get a Hershey’s chocolate bar enclosed in a special Dig Pink Night wrapper. If that wrapper contained a piece of paper with a number on it, it was a winner of one of those baskets.  Money raised from the raffle went to the Stephenson County Well Woman program which offers free mammograms and other health programs for local women. They also had pink balloons, small pink footballs, and glow stick necklaces for the kids.

Inside the gym, the lady Cougars, who had to remove their pink t-shirts at game time, were all business. They overpowered the lady Kougars of Kishwaukee College in straight sets 25-10, 25-15, and 25-10.  The win improved Coach Beth Groshans team’s record to an even 4-4 in the Arrowhead Conference and 5-14 overall.

Aquin graduate Katie Stykel, the lone sophomore on the squad, said the team looks forward to hosting this fun community event. “It’s a big deal because we like to support the nursing students. We all work together on it and it’s good for both of us,” Stykel said.

More fun was had during a brief intermission after the second set.  Spectators of all ages were invited onto the court and given the chance to serve a volleyball over the net. On the floor, on the other side of the net, lay several empty cardboard pizza boxes. If their serve landed directly on a pizza box, they got a free pizza. 

Between all the blocks, digs, sets, and spikes and the breast cancer awareness facts that were shared with attendees, it was clear that both groups of students worked hard in their own way to make this an entertaining and informative event.    


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The Power of Pink