SWCC Women's Basketball TeamMARCH 8, 2010--As the Southwestern Community College Spartans faced Iowa Central Community College on Wednesday, February 24, 2010, at 6:30 p.m., in the college’s gymnasium, the basketball game wasn’t the only thought on spectators’ minds.  The women’s basketball team was hosting their second annual WBCA Pink Zone® event for breast cancer awareness.

This year’s event raised $3,547, about $100 more than the 2009 event.  All proceeds from the event and activities leading up to the event were donated to the Kay Yow/Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Cancer Fund™, a nationwide organization striving to create “breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities, and beyond.” 

Last year’s SWCC event raised the most funds out of the 81 schools participating in the junior/community college category.  Because Southwestern had the highest donation for community colleges, RUSSELL Athletics donated pink uniforms to SWCC’s basketball program.  The Spartans sported their new pink uniforms for the 2010 Pink Zone® event.

SWCC Head Coach Buck Scheel is proud of what the Spartans have accomplished for the initiative.
“We set the bar pretty high with our first year participating in the Pink Zone,” explained Scheel.   “We used that as motivation to try and make even more of a difference in the fight against cancer.”

Scheel said breast cancer is a topic that touches many people and helps inspire individuals to give.  “My inspiration to raise funds for breast cancer awareness comes from having friends and family who have had to fight cancer,” Scheel stated.  “Cancer awareness is something you really don't think about until it hits close to home.”

Scheel became aware of the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund™ in 2008 when he became a member of the Women's Basketball Coaches Association.  After researching the initiative, he felt SWCC could get a good response from students and employees at the college, as well as from members of the community. 

“I wanted to jump on the bandwagon and see how much of an impact we could make at the community college level,” Scheel said. 

Activities taking place throughout the night included a raffle for a “basket of pink,” pink smoothie sales, and youth girls basketball play at halftime.  Event T-shirts were on sale in the weeks leading up to the game and spectators were encouraged to wear pink at the game.

Sponsors for the 2010 event included American Family Insurance, Katie Strider, agent; Curves of Creston; First National Bank; Great Western Bank; Greater Regional Cancer Center in partnership with Mercy Medical Center; and Iowa State Savings Bank. 

The WBCA Pink Zone® initiative is a global, unified effort for the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s nation of coaches to assist in raising breast cancer awareness on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond.  It began in 2007 with 120 schools participating.  In 2009, more than 2000 teams/schools got involved raising more than $1.3 million.  All funds raised with the initiative are donated to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund, in partnership with the V Foundation.  For more information regarding Pink Zone™ initiatives, please visit the WBCA Web site.