Belton’s Pink and White game a smash
Monday, 20 February 2012 by Chuck Kelly
If you couldn't attend the Fourth Annual Pink and White basketball games Feb. 2, you really missed a special occasion.
About 200 girls from the three Belton middle schools --- Belton, Lake Belton and South Belton --- squared off against each other to raise money for cancer research and raise money they did! Nearly $10,000 by early estimates.
It was the biggest turnout so far, according to one of the event's hosts, BMS Girls Athletic Coordinator Pam Ernest. "It was huge!" she exclaimed. "We had just so many people here (at the BHS gyms). I was looking back at last year's pictures and the amount of kids on the court and all of the fans...there was a huge difference, a lot of people came out. As of right now, we've counted about $9,300 and we have more donations still trickling in. We had seven thousand last year, the total should be close to ten this year."
All the proceeds will go to the Robert S. Love Foundation, committed to finding a cure for cancer and supporting the Scott & White cancer programs.
Basketball games are being played throughout the country in hopes of raising money for cancer research. The idea began when the national Women's Basketball Coaches Association formed a foundation called the Kay Yow: WBCA Cancer Fund. Coach Yow was a well-known coach from North Carolina State University that battled cancer for years before it finally claimed her life in 2009.
Fran Garmon, girls' basketball coach at the new South Belton Middle School, was a close personal friend of coach Yow. Not only that, Garmon and Yow are past presidents and founding members of the national Women's Basketball Coaches Association.
"This year was incredible!" Garmon commented after the Pink and White games. "We had so many people here...I looked out there and saw all those kids on the court...the amazing thing is those are middle school kids who got out and worked and raised money by convincing people it was for a good cause. We, of course, know that fighting cancer is a good cause...there's no doubt about that...and it all started from a little seed.
I knew Kay Yow for many years and we coached together nationally and served on committees and such and she gave her life at the end fighting cancer. We raised millions of dollars thru the WBCA Foundation, so when we got the idea for middle schools and the community....well, we brought in $2,000 the first year, that was awesome for middle school. Then, the next year, it was $4,000 and last year, we raised about $7,000...Wow!
"With three schools now, there were just that many more youngsters out there talking about it. The amazing thing to me is that young people are doing things like this. It teaches them leadership and helps make them realize how important it is to do things for your community. I'm just so proud of all of them ...and all of the administrators and their staffs that worked so hard to make it happen."
The girls had to find sponsors for their game shirt that honored a cancer survivor, someone who is currently battling cancer or in memory of someone who has succumbed to cancer. Business donations, buckets at the games, a silent auction and proceeds from the concession stands all went to the Love Cures foundation.
The ending of the games was especially emotional as hundreds of young basketball players assembled on the Tiger Gym floor and were introduced, wearing their game shirts bearing the name of someone whose life had been touched by cancer.
"It just gives me goose bumps to think about it," said coach Garmon. "Kay passed away a few days after last year's game...she had a 'great seat' for this year's game!"
Thanks, girls...Well Done!