By Tracy Sullivan, Head of Physical Education: Quite a few people know that I am a cancer survivor, as are several other staff members at our school. Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer in women, and a disease that will directly impact 1 in 8 women in their lifetime, as well as touch the lives of close friends and family while they support her through the experience. When we started the Dig Pink Volleyball Tournament, we had no idea that I would personally face breast cancer.
Without the quality care I received, I might not be here today. And with further research and better treatment options – any of you or your loved ones who may face breast cancer will hopefully experience easier, better treatment. We are very happy that with the support of volunteers and sponsors, we donate all of the proceeds from the tournament to the Alberta Cancer Foundation. Our goal this year was to raise at least $6,000. We exceeded our goal and raised over $8,500, bringing our tournament total to $88,000 since its inception 11 years ago.
The Alberta Cancer Foundation actively seeks out and supports the most promising research and care initiatives that will have a direct impact on patients and provide real-life returns. With your help, they are pushing the pace of progress so that we can help deliver the best treatment and care possible. The goals of Dig Pink are many – to come together as a community, to celebrate our female athletes, and to raise funds.
What I have learned is that bravery is not the absence of fear. You don’t have to feel brave to be brave. Sometimes courage means just putting one foot in front of the other – when it comes to cancer treatment, you have no choice. Our students, staff and parent community has supported our efforts once again by making donations, wearing pink, supporting our fundraising efforts, cheering on our female athletes and taking part in our Dig Pink pep rally. I hope everyone feels it is a worthwhile cause and an opportunity for teaching altruism. I have never felt so supported as I have at Dig Pink, with all the crowd in pink at our pep rally. Each year as the event grows and changes, I see bravery in our team stepping in front of a huge crowd, in our students who have shared their stories and shaved heads, in our organizers who set huge goals to grow the event to be even more epic, and in each of you who take part in any capacity. Our community and the spirit of Dig Pink continues to give me courage I have never expected. The difference you have made goes well beyond the funds raised, and this year was no different.
A special shout out to Mr. Schuegraf, Mr. Waterbury, and Mr. Fleck, who have put a lot of time into ensuring the success of this event this year. The tournament also wouldn’t have been possible without the more than 50 volunteers, composed of students, parents, staff, and community partners. I was so happy to share in our celebration and success this past weekend!