Alex Brasky | @BataviasBest
Friday, January 13, 2017 | BataviasBest.org
For IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For more information contact: Mike Wilson 716.949.0523
Pembroke Girls Basketball Scores Record Setting Night, Raising Over $19,000
Community shows up in droves to support team’s sixth annual event, helping to bring six-year total to nearly $60,000
Corfu, NY, January 12, 2017—It was a record setting night at Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School, as the community game out in droves in support of the team’s sixth annual Shooting For A Cure! game. In 2012, The Pembroke Girls Basketball Team decided to use their passion for playing basketball as a platform from which to host a fundraiser for breast cancer research at Roswell Park in support of a community member. As a result, the girls and their coaches organized an annual event, naming it Shooting For A Cure! through which they raised over $40,000 in contributions for Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in past five seasons. On Thursday, the team played to the buzzer in their sixth annual Shooting For A Cure! game and raised $19,085.12, making their total RPCI donation over $59,000 since the event’s inception.
DJ Jickster of 97 Rock was in attendance with Kiss 98.5’s DJ Anthony. The two worked in tandem to pump up the crowd and to reinforce the good work the Pembroke Girls Basketball team continues to do for Roswell Park. The two then hosted a check presentation in which the New York State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association donated $2,500 to Roswell Park in support of Shooting For A Cure! Pembroke resident and Western Region Vice President Joe Miano was on hand to present the check to the Tatarski family as well as the team. “It’s an overwhelming feeling to live in a community where such great things are happening, fueled by the passion of our student-athletes,” Joe shared with the crowd.
During an emotion halftime ceremony, the team first memorialized Scott Humel, a beloved district employee who lost his battle with cancer in July. The team then honored 20 cancer survivors, personifying their dedication to this cause. Each survivor was honored with hug from a player, a single rose and applause from the hundreds of fans packed into the gymnasium.
Coach Ron Funke and his Pembroke Girls Basketball Team will present the full proceeds of their latest fundraiser to RPCI officials in the hospital lobby today (Friday, January 13th) at 3:00pm. It’s a post-game tradition that Funke acknowledges has great meaning to the program. “These girls are the driving force behind this fundraiser and it’s become the identity of Pembroke Girls Basketball. What started many years ago in support of my wife’s diagnosis has continued to grow each season. This season was one for the record books! We were able to raise over $19,000 and I’m speechless!” Funke shared. “The girls on this team are incredibly compassionate individuals and believe firmly in service over self.” A few weeks ago they volunteered at the Carly’s Club Christmas party and also helped with the “Check Out Hunger” campaign at Tops Markets in Batavia. “This year’s group is special,” Funke shared. “I have to say that the most meaningful part of Shooting For A Cure! is always visiting Roswell to donate what’s been raised. The girls put their pink jerseys back on and travel to Roswell to present a check to hospital officials. Being there at the hospital, surrounded by people who are actually fighting their own battle against cancer never fails to inspire the girls. It’s a tangible reminder of how their efforts off the court are saving lives.”
Over a twenty alumni players from the previous Shooting For A Cure! events were in attendance last night, helping to run raffles and contests as well as cheering on the current team. Alumni Cora Erb (Class of 2013) hasn’t missed a game since its commencement. “Playing in the first two Shooting For A Cure! games meant so much to me. Not only because it’s for a great cause, but also because I lost someone very close to my heart from cancer. When I stepped on that court I played my heart out knowing in some way that I made my father proud,” Cora shared. “I come back every year to show my continued support for these girls and this cause. I know what it’s like to lose someone from cancer and I know I would want their support, just as they have mine.” Dannielle DellaPenta (Class of 2014), a three-time game alumnus, was also in attendance last night. “The annual Shooting For A Cure! game means a lot to me. It brings our community together in support of others, focusing on the bigger picture in life. There is a sense of togetherness in our community. It’s about honoring those who have won their fight, supporting those who are still battling and memorializing those who we’ve lost,” DellaPenta added. “This event is simply beautiful and I’m forever grateful for the opportunity to still be a part of something so amazing. You never know if, when or who may be affected by cancer. Seeing so many people come together brings teams, families and communities together. When people come together like this they accomplish great things.”
The hallways surrounding the gymnasium were lined with balloons, decorations, photos and raffle tables. The basket raffle had over 95 basket items to choose from, including donated items from various merchants and community members. There were three different raffles to choose from, highlighted by an Autographed Zemgus Girgensons jersey, X-Box One Gaming System and diamond jewelry. In addition to the raffles the cafeteria was serving up slices of pizza from local area pizzerias, Original Pizza Logs, Perry’s Ice cream and a variety of beverages donated by Crickler Vending and Coca-Cola Bottling of Rochester. The cafeteria was uniquely set up and renamed “Mr. Brown’s Snack Shack” for the evening paying homage to its perennial coordinator, Arron Brown.
The list of WNY companies, vendors and individuals who donated to Shooting For A Cure! numbers more than 90 including 26 Shirts, AdWorks, Batavia’s Original, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Bisons, Buffalo Sasbres, Carly’s Club, Coca-Cola Bottling, Darien Lake, Dry Creek Group, Insty-Prints, Koolatron, Manitoba Corporation, Minute Print, NFL Films, Northtown Automotive, Original Pizza Logs, Party City, Perry’s Ice Cream, Pesci’s Pizza, Petals to Please, Target, Tim Horton’s, Yancey’s Fancy & YMCA of Batavia. Additionally online donations are still being accepted at the team’s online fundraising page: (https://www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure).
RPCI officially sanctioned the sixth annual Shooting For A Cure! game as an official Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people today can make a difference. “It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising critically-needed funds for cancer research at Roswell Park. These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion,” said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator. “To think in one evening that this group of young women, with the support of Coach Ron Funke, Mike and Jen Wilson as well as their entire community, were able to raise over $18,000 is even more remarkable than we could fathom!” Harvey added. “This small community has a big heart! They continue to amaze us every year with this event. To think that this small school district has raised over $59,000 in six seasons is extraordinary! We look forward to their arrival at the hospital this afternoon.”
Congratulations to all involved in making this event such a success – truly remarkable!
Here are a few photos from last night courtesy of Mike Wilson:
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