Field hockey players raise $20K for breast cancer patients
WATERVILLE - More than 100 high school field hockey players raised $20,000 to support uninsured or under-insured patients seeking care at the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center in Farmington. In return, both the student-athletes participating and the community at large got a healthy dose of breast cancer awareness.
The five high school teams: Skowhegan, Winslow, Mt. Blue, Lawrence and Nokomis, played in the round robin Battle for Breast Cancer Tournament held at Colby College on Friday. But before getting onto the pitch, the players held car washes, bottle drives, bake sales and went door to door asking businesses for sponsorship donations, all going toward their cause.
The total for donations came to $20,000 this year. Last year, four teams participated in the inaugural tourney and $17,000 was raised.
The money raised by the tournament last year is credited with saving at least one woman's life after a biopsy prompted the treatment she needed at the Martha B. Webber Breast Care Center, a program of Franklin Memorial Hospital, Richards said.
"It was all done by the kids," said Liz Richards, a volunteer with Franklin Community Health Network's fund development office. Last year Richards helped Paula Doughty of Farmington, Skowhegan High School's field hockey coach, develop the idea for the tournament.
This year, the players wore pink and pink balloons with messages on them were released as a tournament finale.
"It's a really great event," Richards said. "The kids are so excited, so pumped up and everything's pink."
Besides raising money for others needing breast cancer treatment, the student-athletes participating in the tournament receive an educational piece on the importance of early detection of breast cancer and the corresponding treatment for it.
With the fund raising and playing in the tournament a lot of breast cancer awareness was raised, both with the players participating and the community's support of the tournament. "they all learned a lot about life," Richards said. "It was a real education for them and they took so much pride in the event."
Donations for the fund will continue to be accepted. Online donations can be made by visiting www.fchn.org/donate. Checks payable to FCHN can be mailed to the Fund Development Office, 111 Franklin Health Commons, Farmington, ME 04938. For more information, call 779-2750.