volleyball players, coaches and several fans in the gyms yesterday traded in their red and black school colors for pink yesterday.
The teams wore pink shirts as part of Dig Pink, a fundraising effort for breast cancer research.
The students, with help from parents and Athletic Director John Brown, began planning the night when they learned two of their own had been diagnosed with breast cancer.
Assistant coach Sally Kellogg was diagnosed last spring, she said.
“I feel very honored the girls took this upon themselves,” she said. “I get my inspiration and my energy from the girls.”
Kellogg has been through chemo, through radiation, through “everything,” she said, but she’s not let it deplete her strength.
“How do I feel? I feel terrific,” she said.
MaryAnne McDonald, assistant athletic director, found out recently she had cancer as well. She said she’s been through surgeries and various treatments.
When asked how she’s coped, she matter-of-factly said, “My work here and the kids.”
The fundraising effort, part of the Side-Out Foundation, a national organization which provides cancer-awareness resources to volleyball players and coaches, came with a goal of $2,000 on the night. According to varsity coach Crystal Ainge, they’d reached $3,000 before the varsity team’s game began at 5 p.m.
Brown said this is only the beginning for the school’s athletic department. Several teams throughout the school year will take part in awareness nights.
“We looked at it and said we’d pick a few teams here and there…and try to raise some money as well,” he said.
He listed others close to Wellesley athletics who have been affected by cancer in some way. McDonald drove home the point of the department's dedication to awareness by saying, “It’s unfortunately touched a lot of us.”