Joliet West, Joliet Central square off in fourth annual Volley for the Cure
By Tony Graf firstname.lastname@example.org October 19, 2012 5:58PM
The freshmen girls volleyball team at Joliet West High School wore pink for the Oct. 9 fund-raising event, Volley for the Cure, held at West. | Supplied photo
Updated: November 22, 2012 6:35AM
JOLIET — Volley for the Cure is as strong as ever at Joliet Township High School, raising money for breast cancer research, supporting survivors, and honoring the memory of the event’s energetic founder.
This month’s volleyball game between Joliet West and Joliet Central was the culmination of a season’s worth of fundraising projects. The event is affiliated with Susan G. Komen for the Cure. The theme color is pink to show support, said Melanie Palmer, the event’s organizer.
“All the guests wear pink. We honor survivors during a survivor parade in between the sophomore and varsity match,” said Palmer, a guidance counselor and volleyball coach at West. “The refs wear pink, our girls wear pink jerseys, we play with a pink volleyball, and we decorate the gym as pink as we can.”
Palmer is in her first year of leading the event, after the death of founder Peg Bryan on Jan. 16.
Bryan — an inspiration to students and faculty in Joliet — began scorekeeping in 1989 and remained in that role right up to the end of the 2011 volleyball season at Joliet Central. She fought her own battle against cancer for 14 years.
A large banner honoring Bryan was displayed during Volley for the Cure, which was held Oct. 9 in the main gym at Joliet West. The “e” in “Peg” was the familiar pink-ribbon bow. The large letters of her name were shown within an Illinois map: Bryan was honored last spring with the Friends of Athletics Award by the Illinois High School Association.
Wishing to honor Bryan, the Joliet Township High School volleyball programs worked hard to put together an exciting and inspirational event for the fourth-annual Volley for the Cure.
The event always is held during the West vs. Central volleyball game, a friendly cross-town rivalry. In some years, West hosts the event; in other years, Central is the host.
But the game was just the tip of the iceberg.
In June, Palmer and her group began drafting letters to larger companies seeking their help. In August, volunteers went to local businesses, seeking donations of either money or raffle items.
Cupcakes for the Cure were decorated by a West foods class and sold at the game. Central also sold T-shirts. The West poms team sold 50/50 raffle tickets. Students sold bracelets and awareness pins to raise funds.
Admission to the game was $4, unless spectators bought a $10 bright pink T-shirt they could wear in the stands.
The West color guard, bearing pink flags, led the parade of seven cancer survivors who were honored that night.
“Our entire school came together. The entire community came together,” Palmer said.