Lady Dragons hope another $10K will be slam dunk at 6th Annual Shooting for a Cure
During the last five seasons, The Pembroke High School Girls’ Basketball Team has focused on winning—not just league games, but the battle against breast cancer. It’s a cause that is personal to the team and their school district because of the number of faculty and family members who have been affected by the disease. Yet according to Senior Captain, Shelby Turner, this year’s fundraiser (7pm, Thursday, January 12th vs. Notre Dame) is particularly important as it marks the final season this group of four seniors will be able to play in the event.
“I was only in 7th grade when the first varsity team came up with the idea to host the first Shooting For A Cure! game in support of Toni Funke’s battle with breast cancer,” Turner said. The team spent that season seeking support from the community and local businesses in hopes of funding research efforts at Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) in honor of Mrs. Funke. “Although I was a young player on the modified team it was amazing to see our community come together the way they did in support of her,” Turner stated. “This fundraiser means so much to our team because it gives us an opportunity to give back to the community, especially those battling cancer. This game is our identity and we take tremendous pride in that,” Turner said.
The 2017 Shooting For A Cure! donors list numbers more than 65 merchants and individuals such as ADPRO Sports, AdWorks, the Buffalo Bills, Buffalo Sabres, Buffalo Bandits, Buffalo Bisons, Carly’s Club, Chef’s, Chestnut Hill Country Club, Darien Lake, Fava Brothers Lawn Care, Insty-Prints, Maple Ridge Landscaping, M&T Bank, NFL Films, Original Pizza Logs, Party City, Perry’s Ice Cream, Target, Tops, Save-A-Lot and the YMCA to name a few. Many of the product donations will become game night auction baskets and raffle prizes. Monies will also be raised from apparel sales and food sales with the generous support of local pizzerias and vending companies. Additionally, online donations are being accepted at the team’s online fundraising site: (https://www.crowdrise.com/shooting4acure).
The team hopes Shooting For A Cure! will continue its tradition of topping the previous years’ fundraising total. According to team member Sammi Tatarski, the event succeeds because of the format. “All of the money raised that evening goes directly to support cancer research at Roswell Park,” Tatarski said. “Playing for this team is not just about basketball, it’s about giving back to the community and showing our support for those in need any way we can.” Tatarski added, “This game is personal to me because in 2013 my mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Seeing what she went through was difficult and no one wants to see a family member go through that. It inspired me to want to do whatever I could to help find a cure for this disease. That 2013 season I was just a young kid on the JV team. This game has had a special meaning to me ever since that day and I truly believe in what it stands for.”
Roswell Park has officially sanctioned Shooting For A Cure! as a Team Cure fundraiser and as a valuable example of the way that young people can make a difference. “We continue to be impressed by the Pembroke Girls’ Basketball Team each season. They push themselves, not only on the court, but off the court as well going above and beyond for the benefit of others. It’s inspirational to have a group of teens who are so passionate about raising funds for cancer research at Roswell Park. These girls continue to demonstrate an incredible amount of compassion,” said Julia Harvey, Team Cure coordinator. “This team is special and their community is amazing. Although the players may change each season, Shooting For A Cure! has remained constant, with the girls leading the charge, for five consecutive seasons,” Harvey added. “To think that they’ve has raised over $40,000 in five seasons with this game is a testament to benevolence of these girls and the entire Pembroke community.”