This past weekend we gathered together to celebrate, raise awareness and honor loved ones. Survivors, caregivers, families, friends, students, teachers, oh! and hockey fans too filled the arena for the 5th Annual Stick It To Ovarian Cancer game night. For so many reasons, this night was special. It was the first time the Checkers went completely teal. They had on teal jersey's and each had a teal ribbon on the front. We weren't, in addition to, no we were the main attraction.
For anyone reading this who may be like, why in the world is that such a big deal?! Teal is the color designated to ovarian cancer. And well, you see, those of us diagnosed with a gynecologic cancer know all to well we have have been diagnosed with an unpopular cancer. Ovaries, the cervix, the vulva, the uterus aren't always a fun and inviting topic. Instead, they are a part of the body we tuck away and are perhaps embarrassed to open up about. The symptoms of a few of these types of cancers often mimic much of what we, as women, face on a regular basis making the cancer harder to detect and diagnose. Ovarian cancer doesn't even have a screening test. So it is events like these that allow nonprofits to raise awareness and gives survivors and caregivers a chance to celebrate with others or honor someone who may have passed from the disease.
Lets take a peak at some of the things that made this night even more special...
Leading up to the game, a survivor reached out to me and told me her daughter wanted to work with Teal Diva for her senior project. I approached them with the idea of selling tickets to the game. She agreed and together, we thought it would be cool to have mom and daughter throw out the first puck, have them interviewed before the game and the daughter would invite her teachers to the game. Simple enough, right?!
Emma, the daughter, along with her family's help sold well over 100 tickets (which was her goal). But she didn't keep the tickets. She wanted the tickets donated back to survivors and their families. People who may not have it in their budget to come otherwise as a result of chemo expenses. The picture you see up top: survivors and Emma. And there were way more who attended the game. So what this high school senior did, was allow a group of women and their families take a break from all they were going through and celebrate....laugh....have fun!!! And not only that, she raised over $2,500 for Teal Diva.
Here they are (the only girls):
The Bake Sale
Now this next one took us totally by surprise. My hubby and I were working the Teal Diva booth in the concourse when some members of the Statesville High School JROTC approached us with a check. They explained that they raised the money through a few different avenues but one was a bake sale. We were floored. Blown away! Turns out, there is a connection. Their Major lost her mom to the disease. She and her daughter work tirelessly to raise awareness of the disease.
As with any event, the volunteers make it truly happen. And this group of girls from the UNCC chapter of Sigma Alpha Omega Christian Sorority were off the chain. As soon as we gave them instruction, they killed it. They worked so hard to bring people to our table which helps us raise awareness and funding. We love our partnership with these girls and we were happy for them to see an event in action.
A big, HUGE, thank you goes out to the Charlotte Checkers for the opportunity and support. Also to the Teal Butterfly Challenge for starting this with the Checkers 5 years ago. Thank you to TBC and Sherry Strong who helped sell tickets for the game. Ya'll! It was almost a sell out. And thank you to the survivors, supporters, caregivers, families and friends who came out and/or who participated in some way. (check out our good friend Kerri on the zamboni)