Thursday, December 1, 2011

Dig for a Cure

By Coach Shannon Erbst
  Volleyball shoes, $90; pink volleyball jersey, $45; pink volleyball, $40. Watching your community come together for an outstanding cause - PRICELESS.
  On Oct. 11, the Orofino Lady Maniac volleyball team was Diggin for a Cure. In a very exciting match against Summit Academy, the Lady Maniacs played one of their best matches of the season. With the emotions running high from the night’s events, the girls really put on a great show.
  It all started with the JV team announcing themselves and who they would be playing for that night. We wanted to honor all the women and men that have either been affected by breast cancer or any cancer at all, with a carnation and a promise to “dig for a cure.” Carnations were discounted and made for the night by Orofino Flower Shop.
  Ready to get started, the JV girls jumped into a three game match filled with pink jerseys, socks and hair. Summit did a great job in participating by wearing pink ribbons in their hair as well as a few girls with pink shoe laces.
  The Maniacs came on strong in all three games, never giving up. As the match progressed there was a gradual sea of pink entering the gym. It was pack the gym in pink night and everyone was in full support. We really pushed for everyone to wear pink to the game because Pepsi and Coke had vowed to donate 50 cents per pink shirt, up to $500 each. So our goal was to create a pink backdrop in the stands with all of the shirts, and with each passing game the pink really came on!
  As fans entered into the school, they were greeted by ICARE selling some beautiful jewelry and a booth where you could purchase pink shirts and other merchandise. In between the varsity and JV matches we had raffles giving away “Dig for a Cure” shirts, calendars and Frisbees. We also held an auction with a beautiful basket full of Pampered Chef items that was donated by Sue Summerton, as well as a poster of the volleyball team that went up for auction. The total between the two auctions was just a little over $200.
  As Doug Adams wrapped up the auction someone shouted, “Alaska Loggers will donate $1.00 for every point the Lady Maniacs score tonight.” As we searched the crowd to see where the generous donation came from, we realized it was from one of the fathers from our volleyball team, Mike Reggear. As soon we announced where that came from the gym blew up with pledges from numerous businesses in town.
  What an amazing sight to see as hands starting raising and people started running up to benches to include their company in the donation. All companies that donated $75 each were: Alaska Logger, McLaughlin Loggers, U.S. Bank, Clearwater Kids, Glenwood Pharmacy, Orofino Physical Therapy, Potlatch, CEA, Harper Chiropractic, Orofino Loggers, Hanson Garage, Woolsey Construction and Brookside Landing. Thank you so much!
  Another amazing donation for the night was from Orofino Builder Supply. They had graciously donated over 250 shirts to be sold during and before the game. The shirts looked awesome in pink, decorated with the volleyball teams’ signatures all over it.
  Just when we thought the night was at the highest point, ICARE came forward and announced that they would be awarding $500 to one of our audience members who is currently fighting cancer. Wow!  The night was only getting better.
  Next on the list of the night’s events was the Lady Maniac Varsity team to announce who they were going to be playing for. As the gym floor started filling up with cancer survivors, fighters and loved ones of family members that had been lost, the entire atmosphere had changed.
  How can such a small event make such a huge impact on so many lives? We had all the players and honorees stand in front of the net for a picture, and what a sight to see. Tears, laughter, hugs and emotions were running high. Everyone was looking to each other and supporting one another whether they knew the person standing next to them or not.  To be someone that has had a family member affected by breast cancer and to witness all the love and support flowing thru the gym made me absolutely speechless. Strangers hugging strangers, mothers hugging daughters and lost loved ones being remembered. Absolutely priceless!
  Next on the list of events: Lady Maniac Volleyball. I was a little worried that with all the emotions on the night the girls may be lacking some focus. Well, they proved me wrong in a big way. We had accomplished something we had not done all year long….the girls came together and showed an extreme amount of chemistry. Was it the night’s events, seeing so many strangers come together for one event? I really think it was in our team all along but with the experiences through the night, it brought out the bond in the girls. They played amazing all three set, never giving up and playing hard to the bitter end.
  Beating Summitt Academy in three games was a huge accomplishment on the night but the true incentive went to all the people we were playing for. It was a great showing by the Lady Maniacs capitalizing on the night’s theme, “Fighting together, to never give up.” Anyone that was at the game that night experienced something that Orofino has never done at that level. It was very memorable and something we will continue to do each year.
  We are so thankful for all the help we had received on the night, thanks to: Heidi Summers, OHS coaching staff; Cindy Haskett, score keeper/coaching staff; Doug Adams, announcer of all games and the night’s events; Bob Alverson, principal and huge motivator/supporter on the night; the parents of Maniac Volleyball; Pepsi and Coke for their $250 donations; Orofino Builders Supply, over 250 Dig for a Cure shirts; Orofino Flower Shop- carnations for honorees for the night; Joe Hall Ford, $500 donation; Sue Summerton, Pampered Chef basket; ICARE, $500 donation to cancer victim at the event; Jim Hill, purchase of team picture at the auction; Barb Wityczak, purchase of Pampered Chef basket; Salon Savvy, hair care products; Harper Chiropractic, t-shirts.
  Thank you also to the OHS Lady Maniac Volleyball players for never giving up and showing true character; all the amazing businesses in town that donated $75 for each point scored by the Maniacs; Linda Johnston for inspiring me every day; and everyone else that had helped with the event, Thank you one hundred times over! Without all the support, we could have never made the night as memorable as it was.
  We raised a little over $3,000. We donated $840 of that to Clearwater Valley Hospital for 10 women to get mammograms. Another $500 was donated to ICARE, to be given to two local women fighting cancer.
  Pictures will be in next week.
  We do have some shirts left over at $5 apiece, if you are interested in buying one call (208) 827-0734 and we can get one to you.
  We live in an amazing community; we have great kids and fantastic fans! And I know that I am very proud to call this home. Go Maniacs!

This group of people who either have or have had cancer; or have a family member or friend with cancer, was honored during the Orofino Lady Maniac “Dig for a Cure” event Oct. 11 at the Orofino High School gymnasium.

Tabby Haskett, Jordynn Schwartz, Taylor Erbst, Sarah Campbell, Kaitlyn Reggear, Madison Parks, Megan Gilmer, Morgan Adams, Courtney Adams, Kyla Cobbs and Coach Shannon Erbst (l to r) listen to the Star Spangled Banner during “Dig for a Cure” Oct. 11.

Pam Danielson and Patty Reggear (a cancer survivor) at the Lady Maniac Volleyball “Dig for a Cure” event Oct. 11. Behind Patty is Chad Easterbrook.

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