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Pembroke Varsity Girls' Basketball Team exceeds fundraising goal, donates more than $32K to Roswell

By Billie Owens

Submitted photo and press release:

It was a record-setting night at Pembroke Jr./Sr. High School on Thursday as the community came out to support the Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team’s ninth annual "Shooting For A Cure!" game.

Throughout the evening and early into Friday morning, donations continued to pour in, bringing this year’s fundraising total to $32,520.20.

That exceeds this year's goal of $30,000.

Since the event’s inception, the team has raised more than $150,000 to help with research efforts at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Head Coach Ron Funke and the Pembroke Varsity Girls’ Basketball Team presented the proceeds of "Shooting For A Cure!" to Team Roswell coordinator Mackenzie Giancarlo in the hospital lobby yesterday. It’s a post-game tradition that Coach Funke acknowledges has great meaning to the program.

When asked how much he has seen the game grow, Funke responded, “Well it started nine years ago when my wife was diagnosed (with breast cancer). And some of the girls on the team wanted to do something for her and for me. And it was $4,000 and now it's basically taking on a life of its own as shown by the $32,000 we made this year. So, growth? Wow.”

Toni Funke, wife of Coach Funke and the inspiration for the inaugural game, joined the team at Roswell for the check presentation.

“All the money we have raised in this event is going towards research and there are always new and better treatments and care for cancer patients, so it means the world to me and a lot of other people," Toni Funke said. "The support alone has grown immensely from the event inception to now. Everybody wants to be a part of this game, and for good reason, because it's helping so many people.”

Team Roswell coordinator Giancarlo met the team to receive the donation and had a few remarks to make during the check presentation.

“We are beyond impressed with 'Shooting For A Cure!' here," Giancarlo said. "It’s one of our top school fundraising events that you guys do, and you do it in a basketball game as the whole community comes together. It’s really impressive. Coming together to raise $32,000 is just more than we could ever expect.”

Following the check presentation at Roswell, the team headed to Chef’s restaurant for their annual post-event dinner.

“There are so many factors that add to the success of our 'Shooting for a Cure!' game,” said senior and captain Megan Conibear. “As a team, we wouldn’t be able to accomplish all that we have without the love and support from our community, local business owners, and the faculty and students at Pembroke.

"Getting to walk into Roswell side by side with both Mr. and Mrs. Funke is such an amazing feeling. After we present the check, we get the chance to bond over a delicious meal.”

The team knows "Shooting For A Cure!" would not be possible without the generous support of countless people, including local businesses and merchants such as:

  • 26Shirts
  • ACES Foundation
  • ADPRO Sports
  • Batavia Country Club
  • Batavia’s Original
  • Buttercrumbs Bakery
  • Clarence Deli
  • Coca-Cola of Rochester
  • Crickler Vending Company
  • Dollar General
  • Dollars for Scholars
  • Dry Creek Group
  • Fava Brothers Lawn Care
  • Five Guys
  • Genesee Feeds
  • Hershey’s Ice Cream
  • Insty-Prints
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Kingdom Bound
  • Knockaround Sunglasses
  • Linda’s Family Diner
  • Maple Ridge Landscaping
  • Mosquito Hunters of Buffalo
  • Northtown Automotive
  • Oliver’s Candies
  • OnCore Golf
  • Original Pizza Logs
  • Pesci’s Pizza and Wings
  • Pillar Real Estate Investors
  • Platinum Fitness
  • Roswell Park Alliance Foundation
  • Sincerely Kayla
  • Six Flags Darien Lake
  • Southwest Airlines
  • Spa at Artemis
  • Sweets by Shelby
  • Terry Hills Restaurant & Banquet Facility
  • Tim Hortons
  • Walt Disney World
  • West Herr Chevy of Orchard Park
  • Yancey’s Fancy -- New York's Artisan Cheese
  • and YMCA of Batavia

About Pembroke High School Girls' Varsity Basketball Team

It is comprised of 10 young women. The current team members, their numbers and positions are: 2 -- Serene Calderón, G; 3 -- Isabel Breede, G; 4 -- Brianna Rindell, F; 11 -- Mackenna Johnson, G; 12 -- Dekari Moss, F; 13 -- Casey Wurtz, F; 14 -- Megan Conibear, F; 21 -- Allie Schwerthoffer, G; 32 -- Emily Peters, G; 34 -- Nicole vonKramer, F.

This season’s captains are Megan Conibear, Mackenna Johnson, Casey Wurtz, and Serene Calderón. The Lady Dragons are coached by Ron Funke and Guy Gabbey.

The team colors are green, white, and black. The team began "Shooting For A Cure!" as an annual event during the 2011-2012 season, and they are committed to the hard work and dedication it will take to win the battle against breast cancer.

About Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center

According to its website, “All donations made to Roswell Park are managed by the Roswell Park Alliance Foundation, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that ensures that every donation is put to the best possible use. The Alliance Foundation has been recognized numerous times for these efforts.”

For more information about giving to Roswell Park, click here, and go to “Donate.”

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