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Published: Wednesday, 12/3/2008

Schools use rivalry game to help local cancer center

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

MONROE - Though rivals on the court, Monroe High School and St. Mary Catholic Central High School are teaming up to lend support to a worthy cause.

The girls high school basketball game between the two schools tomorrow will benefit the Monroe Center Cancer Connection, a local nonprofit organization that provides support for cancer patients.

If Monroe High School senior Emily Pilon has her way, the entire gym at the high school on Herr Road will be a sea of pink to symbolize the fight to find a cure for cancer.

Miss Pilon, president of the senior class and president of student council and organizer of the fund-raising event, said the annual basketball game has always been a big event for the community.

"The game has always attracted so many people of all ages," she said.

The popularity of the rivalry inspired the 18-year-old senior to suggest to student council adviser and teacher David Henry that the pre-game energy be fun-neled to a worthy cause.

A senior student council project emerged with the idea to sell pink T-shirts spectators will wear to the game. The shirts, which sell for $7, are stamped with the catchy phase: "2 Schools, 1 Rivalry and so much more, the cause is what we are fighting for."

Miss Pilon and other students solicited businesses to advertise the names of their firms on the T-shirts.

The fund-raising efforts of the student council also will extend to the court. The pink jerseys of the Monroe Trojans as well as the white jerseys worn by the St. Mary Kestrels will pay tribute to cancer survivors and victims.

A $100 donation will allow families to have the names of loved ones or relatives printed on the back ofthe jerseys. After the game, the families will receive the laundered jersey.

Also, 50 cents of each $4 ticket to get into the game will be donated to the Monroe Center Cancer Connection. The student council also will be accepting $1 donations for pink cut-out paper basketballs to recognize loved ones who are cancer survivors and those who died from the disease. They will be placed on the walls of the school.

Miss Pilon said the student council hopes to raise over $1,000 from the sale of the shirts.

Donna Bruck, director of Monroe Center Cancer Connection, said she was impressed by the creativity of the project.

"I think it is really good for the high school seniors to participate. They are helping get the word out about what we do and they are also helping raise money," she said.

Monroe Center Cancer Connection provides services for people suffering from cancer, including transportation, nutritional supplements, and equipment.

"We also offer support through groups, friendly calls, and home visits," said Ms. Bruck.



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