The county sports rivalry between Clay City and Northview consistently provides the basis for bragging rights for the yearly winner in each sport. Volleyball is no different as many of the girls on both teams play together on travel teams or are close off the court.
However, the results of this year's game to be played on Sept. 17 at Northview High School, will be remembered for quite a different reason.
Prior to the season, members of Northview's team inquired about the possibility of raising money toward breast cancer research. With a resounding 'yes,' plans began to be laid for Monday's game between the Eels and the Knights. While the concept of raising money for this specific cause is not completely new, Northview's girls wanted to do their part.
"(The team) had asked about the possibility of doing a game for breast cancer," commented Northview coach Scott McDonald. "They had seen that other schools had done something similar and thought that we could do something better."
To raise money, both the Clay City and Northview players are selling pink shirts for the cause which are $10 and donations will be collected at the door for Monday's game as well as in the stands during the contest. The money that is collected will all go to the Susan B.Komen Foundation.
The Susan B. Komen foundation, now in its 25th year of existence, was founded by Susan Koemen's sister, Nancy, as a promise to her dying sister who lost her life to the disease.
The foundation leads the charge in educating people about the disease and Komen Affiliates serve more than 18,000 communities and have developed educational tools to reach people in more than 200 countries. The founder of the Komen Race for the Cure, the most successful fundraising and education event for breast cancer ever created, is also the largest source of private funds for breast cancer research and community outreach programs.
"The Foundation is one of the most well known organizations in terms of Breast Cancer Awareness," commented McDonald.
"They have a Race for the Cure event that honors the survivors and remembers those lost. It is our feeling that this is the best place for the money to go."
The girls on both teams have embraced the cause and have really ran with the chance to spend their time to help a cause that helped both improve, and save so many lives affected by this terrible disease.
"The kids were very excited about the idea (of raising money). They have taken ownership into it and really are working hard to promote it," said McDonald.
"Breast cancer has effected so many families in Clay County and had such a significant impact on so many lives that we needed to do something. So many times, we ask for monetary help for ourselves, that we rarely have time to give back. This gives the girls a tremendous opportunity to give back to the community that has been so good to them."
The fight against breast cancer has come so very far over the last two decades due to the research that is funded by organizations such as the Susan B. Komen for the Cure foundation.
Twenty-five years ago, the five-year survival rate was just 74 percent when breast cancer was diagnosed before it spread beyond the breast. Today, it is 98 percent and now nearly 75 percent of women over the age of 40 now receive regular mammograms compared to just 30 percent in 1982.
While the purchase of a $10 shirt or the donation of a few dollars might not sound like much in the whole scheme of things, even playing a small role locally, makes each person a part of the larger good.
The pink shirts that the teams are selling also continue raising awareness to the disease around the community. Each shirt sold gets the teams a little closer to reach their donation goals.
"The shirt drive is going well so far. We are not close to our goal, but we are selling them here at school until Wednesday," said McDonald. "The goal is to sell out the game and have as many pink shirts as possible."
According to McDonald, the fundraiser is targeted at eliminating a disease that has touched most everyone during their lives.
"Personally, I think that this is a tremendous idea that the girls had. I lost a grandmother when I was very young to this disease. It is very significant that we are doing this and want to continue to do this for years to come."
Just as important to the girls was that the donations are a reflection on this community's emphasis on being part of the cure.
"The girls wanted this to be with Clay City because they wanted the money to come from the community. We are going to take time to honor and remember all those who we have lost and those who are survivors," said McDonald. "I think that this gives any young woman a tremendous amount of inspiration that you can beat this disease. I am very excited about what this game will mean to both teams' young ladies. I want to thank Clay City for helping us out with this worthwhile cause."
Shirts are available until Wednesday at Northview, North Clay and Clay City.
The game will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday night at Northview starting with the junior varsity game.