Volleyball teams raise awareness
By Holly Neumann
Iola-Scandinavia and Rosholt’s volleyball teams got together Oct. 13 not only to play the game, but also for their annual Dig Pink competition to raise awareness of breast cancer.
“I think Dig Pink is important for all of our athletes because it is important to raise awareness to a disease that in some way shape or form is affecting every one of us,” I-S coach Teresa Kielblock said. “Whether it be knowing a family member or friend who has lost the battle or someone who is currently fighting, it is good for the girls to get involved and give back also and show that our small communities care.”
Rosholt coach Angie Richter agreed.
“It’s not just a volleyball game tonight,” she said. “It’s two communities coming together for a very special reason.”
Both coaches said their athletes enjoy participating in the event each year.
“A lot of work goes into this event,” Hornets junior Isabell Gemza said. “Knowing we are doing something to find a cure, makes me happy.”
Gemza, plays in honor of her grandfather, who died from the disease.
“I look forward to this event each year,” she said. “My grandpa would be proud.”
Iola-Scandinavia senior Kendall Johnson looks forward to the event each year.
“Knowing that we can help make a difference it great,” she said. “It is such a good cause.”
I-S ended up taking three of four sets in the match. The Thunderbirds won the first, 25-14; Rosholt came back to take the second, 25-23; and the T-Birds closed out the match with a pair of 25-20 wins.
Rosholt recognized 12 community members who had breast cancer and are currently fighting, including Debbie Falkavage.
“I am on the road to recover,” she said. “This event truly means a lot to me. It really touches my heart.”
The hardest part of the battle is the waiting game, according to Falkavage.
“You just don’t know the outcome,” she said. “In my case, God was on my side.”
Falkavage reminded everyone to get a mammogram annually.
“This is what saved my life,” she said.
Funds raised from the Dig Pink event will go to the Side-Out Foundation.
“This touches a lot of lives,” Richter said. “We will continue to do this event to help the cause.”
“It’s so wonderful to see the outpouring of support,” Kielblock said. “Hopefully, one day there can be a cure for this.
“For now, it makes a person feel emotional knowing that there is community support, that our small communities care,” she added. “No one has to go through anything alone.”