The month of October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month, and this year, many people found unique ways to honor those who have suffered from breast cancer. Girls Volleyball in particular has a special way of raising awareness: their annual “Dig Pink” game and fundraiser.
Dig Pink is a volleyball event for athletes, schools, and communities created by The Side-Out foundation in 2008. Around 9,000 Dig Pink events are planned every year in the United States to help fund metastatic breast cancer research and treatments. In the last ten years, Dig Pink has helped raise over fifteen million dollars.
Dig Pink began in Wellesley through middle school volleyball coach Ms. Sally Kellog. After Kellog’s own diagnosis with breast cancer, she started the Dig Pink tradition at the middle school, and it later ascended to the high school.
Kellog picked “The Ellie Fund“, based in Needham, as the charity of her choice for Wellesley’s Dig Pink donations. Their mission includes providing support services for patients with breast cancer to relieve them of simple stresses in their daily lives in order to let them focus on family time and recovery.
For the Girls Volleyball team, Dig Pink started with planning the fundraiser. Volleyball captains Isabelle Gardner ’22, Pati Cerda ’22, and Emily Harrington ’22 designed shirts for Dig Pink and the entire team contributed in bringing in different things to sell.
For some, helping out was baking goods for the event. For others, it was contributing in a more unique way. Naz Ozkaya ’22, for example, donated bracelets from her mother’s jewelry brand to sell at the fundraiser.
The week before their Dig Pink game, the girls set up tables during lunch periods to sell their Dig Pink products. The fundraiser brought in almost one thousand dollars.
On October 15, the team held their Dig Pink game against Notre Dame Academy at home in Wellesley. Everyone wore pink shirts and bracelets in support of breast cancer awareness and the game ended in a win.
“The Dig Pink game was truly a great experience to feel like a part of something bigger than just our team. There was just so much joy on everyone’s faces, and it felt great to see everyone’s support for our team. It was heartwarming to see all kinds of people in the crowd wearing the pink shirts and bracelets that made donating to The Ellie Fund possible,” said varsity player Maiwenn Kamdje ’24.
The Dig Pink tradition is revered by the girls as a passionate and heartwarming yearly game and fundraiser.
“People are willing to come together to help those in need. Being a part of the experience also gave us passion because we had the ability to help so many people and it truly made the whole experience personal,” said captain Gardner.