On Tuesday evening, a sea of bright pink filled the gymnasium as the Red Devils hosted their "Dig Pink" night in conjunction with their game against Andrean. Team members and fans sported their specially designed "Dig Pink" T-shirts. Prior to the game, the gymnasium, normally boasting the school colors of black and red was replaced with pink and white streamers and balloons. Rows of tables lined the balcony filled with baked goods, apparel, and miscellaneous items for sale with the proceeds benefiting cancer research.
"We are excited for our annual Dig Pink event this year," said Lowell head coach Dana Jeffries. "Dig Pink has been a tradition at Lowell High School for many years. Coach Kim Kilmer did an amazing job raising thousands of dollars for breast cancer research."
Weeks prior to the event, the team contacted local businesses, the Lowell High School staff, and family and friends to make monetary donations or donate an item or certificate to raffle during the event. It proved to be a successful venture as it took many tables to hold all the generous donations! The athletes and parents provided baked goods to sell. Raffle tickets were sold during the evening prior to the Varsity game. Restaurant gift certificates, spa packages, children's games, and gift baskets numbered only a few of the vast array of prizes. The highly coveted prize of the evening was two Chicago Blackhawks tickets, won by an Andrean fan.
"Tonight is about honoring a great cause and supporting families and friends of teammates who have been affected." said Hunter Jusevitch, a senior and team captain for the Red Devils.
Preceding the varsity game, a ceremony was held to recognize and honor 15 family members, friends, or community members of the team that have been affected by, currently battling the disease, or those who have lost their battle to cancer. As each name was read, those present were escorted onto the court by their player and presented a bouquet of pink roses by the awaiting Red Devil team members.
Deellen Shope, mother to senior Red Devil player Jessica, was busy manning the raffle items table. A breast cancer survivor, she battled the disease five years ago, diagnosed on Jessica's 12th birthday. Her advice to those battling the disease is, "Keep a positive mental attitude. If you think you can beat it, you will!" Jessica was quick to share that she was grateful her mother was there to witness her final high school "Dig Pink" game. "My mom is my #1 role model and the toughest fighter I know."
Although the final score did not end in their favor (Andrean won the match in three sets), the young women on the Red Devils team knew that regardless of the score, the night was not about the winning or losing, but about working for, and giving to, something bigger than themselves.