Event features basketball, activities, food
By Holly Neumann
The Manawa School District will host Think Pink during Rock the Gym at Little Wolf Jr./Sr. High School on Friday, Dec. 22.
The event features an evening of basketball, activities and food.
“Our annual Think Pink program is designed to create awareness and raise funds in the fight against cancer,” said Sandy Cordes, who helps organize the event. “We also want to celebrate survivors and their support systems.’
Think Pink is a collaboration of students and staff.
The Manawa FFA and teachers on the district’s Service Learning Committee are responsible for organizing the event.
According to Cordes, the program was started as part of “Coaches against Cancer” through basketball.
“It is important because it is an opportunity for our school and community to join in the fight against cancer by participating in awareness efforts, educational endeavors and a fundraising event for the American Cancer Society,” she said. “We strive to focus on raising awareness in our community about the importance of cancer prevention, early detection and making healthy lifestyle choices.”
Think Pink combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide an experience that meets meeting community needs.
“Students can feel empowered to know they can make a difference,” Cordes said.
For Cordes, the event has special meaning.
“I’ve had many people that I love and respect conquer cancer, as well as those that were not so fortunate,” she said. “My mom is a cancer survivor and this project is near and dear to my heart for so many reasons. Cancer is a brutal diagnosis but it also has brought blessings in appreciating the moments we are given in life.”
Carmen O’Brien, the district’s business manager, is impressed the students continue to put on the Think Pink event each year.
“I think this has to do with the fact that cancer affects so many lives,” she said. “Events like this remind us of the prevalence of this disease and its impact on so many in our community and beyond.”
O’Brien, herself, has fought the disease twice.
“I had cancer first in 2003 and second in 2014,” she said. “At this point, cancer does not affect my daily life too much. I try really hard to not think about it. I know that cancer will always be a lingering thought in the back of my mind.”
She hopes students will see their efforts make a difference.
“Research has come so far since my first diagnosis, and it is my hope that our students will see an end to the cancer plague,” she said. “I believe it can happen within their lifetime.”
Think Pink will include a variety of activities, including T-shirt sales, a bake sale, raffles and games.
“The girls’ basketball team made blankets sponsored by a grant from Thrivent, and they will be a raffle item,” Cordes said. “Both the boys and girls will be playing basketball against Weyauwega-Fremont that evening. We hope to rock the gym.”
All profits will be donated to the American Cancer Society.