The Nevada High School softball program will provide a touching night at the ballpark this coming Monday, June 10, when they put on a "Coaches vs. Cancer" event during their games with Roland-Story.
The entire community is invited to attend the games and help raise funds and awareness for the fight against cancer.
"I am so happy and honored to be part of the Coaches vs. Cancer event," said Nevada Head Softball Coach Tonya Van Dam. "This is a great way to bring community support to the cause and to our softball program. Thank you to (assistant coach) Kim Crawford for organizing this fantastic opportunity for Nevada."
Crawford, a breast cancer survivor, wanted to take advantage of the opportunity that a Coaches vs. Cancer event provides to educate participants on the facts about cancer and encourage others to be tested if need be. According to the American Cancer Society, the earlier cancer is caught, the better chance of successfully treating it.
The team will pay special tribute to several people during the event. Crawford will be one of those, along with team member Peyton Messerli, a leukemia survivor. Throwing out the first pitch of the game with Messerli and Crawford will be representatives from two families that were affected by the loss of their loved ones to cancer this past year. Members of the Jessica Clem family and the Brayton Shill family will be on-hand.
Also, Van Dam said, all people affected by cancer, who are at the game, will be welcome to come onto the field and join hands as the National Anthem is played.
Coaches vs. Cancer is successful because of the efforts of coaches across the country who help put on these events. Since 1993, the fundraising efforts have brought in $87 million to help the American Cancer Society save lives by helping people stay well, get well and find cures as they fight back against cancer.
A great deal of planning has gone into the event that is coming up at the Nevada softball diamond, which is located at the corner of H Avenue and 19th Street.
The Nevada team has been raising funds through the sale of special T-shirts that have been pre-ordered by team members and their families and friends. Also, at the game that night, donations will be taken for the American Cancer Society, by a passing of the hat.
And, the game will feature lots of pink - the symbolic color for the fight against breast cancer. The field chalk will be pink. Players will have pink shoestrings and have pink and orange (the symbolic color for the fight against leukemia) ribbons in their hair. There will even be pink ice cream floats sold at the concessions stand that night.
Another special symbolic gesture will be the placement of luminary bags along the outfield fence, as players and fans play in memory and in honor of those who have fought cancer.
Van Dam said the opponent for the night – Roland-Story – has been totally cooperative in their support of the event as they come to town to face Nevada in a conference battle. "Kim (Crawford) and I are both graduates of Roland-Story and couldn’t have picked a better Coaches vs. Cancer opponent. (Roland-Story) Coach Amber Doyle has been very cooperative and supportive of the entire event, and we are honored to have them at our field that night."
The Nevada Booster Club has agreed to donate $100, up to $500, for every run that the Cubs score that night.
"If you’ve never come to a softball game in Nevada, but you have been affected by cancer or know someone who has been affected by cancer, we invite you to come out and share this special night with our Nevada Cubs softball team," Van Dam said. She added that it is her hope to carry on a tradition of the Coaches vs. Cancer event each softball season.
The junior varsity game begins at 5:30 p.m. that evening; varsity begins at 7:30 p.m.