Blessed Trinity Catholic High School in Roswell will host its 5th Annual “Serve For A Cure” girls’ volleyball tournament on Friday and Saturday, October 5 and 6, with funds raised going to the American Cancer Society’s Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. This year’s tournament will be dedicated to September Harkey, a mathematics teacher at Blessed Trinity who is a breast cancer survivor.
Last year’s tournament raised a record $4,000, and the school is going to try to top that record this year. In addition to participation from 12 public and private schools from across the region – with seven of the 12 teams participating ranked in the Top 10 of their respective classifications, Blessed Trinity has team members who have been affected by breast cancer.
Volleyball Coach Paul Stevens says the idea of the tournament was born five years ago when the team was looking for a service project that would be meaningful for all the team members.
“A number of players on the team had mothers who had survived breast cancer. The more we talked about it, it just seemed a natural way to support a great cause,” Stevens says. “Over the years, the tournament has grown larger than we ever imagined it would. It’s been fun to see the tournament grow in terms of the amount of money raised and the different ways the players come up with to raise money.”
During the “Serve For A Cure” tournament, a variety of items will be offered for sale with funds from the sales going to Making Strides Against Breast Cancer. They include handmade pillows and blankets; bracelets; bake sale items; team photos in decorated frames; and a 50/50 raffle. The team has already sold 350 tournament t-shirts this year, compared to 250 last year. The tournament is free of charge, with donations taken at the door.
Ms. Harkey was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2011 and had surgery at the end of January 2012. Four weeks later, she started chemotherapy treatment and was back in the classroom six weeks later – missing school only on the days she received chemotherapy. She had four more surgeries and finished chemo by the end of this summer.
“I feel good, healthy and happy to have the hard part behind me,” she says in a school news story on her battle with cancer. “I am not one of those people that say cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me, but I do take away an appreciation for the delicacy of life. I have been blown away by the support that my community, especially Blessed Trinity, has given to my family over the last year.”
Making Strides Against Breast Cancer is the American Cancer Society’s premier breast cancer event, with hundreds of Making Strides walks taking place every year nationwide in October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are two Making Strides events scheduled in the metro Atlanta area this month, the Atlanta event on Saturday, October 6 in Centennial Olympic Park and on the Marietta Square in Cobb County on Saturday, October 27. Go to www.makingstrideswalk.org for more information.