Kentwood cheer raises nearly $3,500 for breast cancer research
By KRIS HILL
Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor
October 3, 2012 · Updated 2:34 PM
Heather Shaw observed quite a sight at French Field when dads were squeezing into pink tutus during the Kentwood-Kent Meridian football game a few weeks ago.
“It was hilarious watching the dads wiggle into these pink tutus,” Shaw said.
Shaw, whose daughter Hailey is on the Kentwood cheer squad, was selling items as part of the Conquerors cheerleaders’ efforts to raise awareness and money for breast cancer.
The final big push for the fundraiser was during the Breast Cancer Awareness game Sept. 28 when Kentwood took on Kentridge. There were hundreds of fans in the stands from parents to students to the band as well as the cheerleaders down on the track decked out in pink.
This is the third year of the event, Shaw said, which was developed by Conks Cheer Coach Kim Kawachi.
Cancer has touched many members of the team, Shaw explained.
“The coach decided that she wanted to give back and get the kids involved in something bigger than them to teach them about community service projects,” Shaw said. “This is something that hits straight to their hearts.”
Kawachi went to Athletic Director Jo Anne Daughtry, who approved the idea, and the cheer team got started.
The concept was to pick a football game to “pink out” the stadium. Pink items such as shirts with the Kentwood crest emblazoned with “Conks For a Cure” were sold to help raise money.
In that first year the Kentwood community embraced the pink.
Shaw came on board in 2011 when her daughter was a freshman and the students were even more excited about it.
“The kids just loved it,” Shaw said. “They bought every bit of merchandise we had. Even guys were wearing pink. Last year people were asking it about before we even scheduled the game. The whole stadium, including parents, was decked out in pink.”
A year ago the cheerleaders collected $2,200 just from the donation cans that were passed around during the game. This year the team had already raised $1,500 five days before the game.
Shaw thinks this year the cheer squad could raise at least $3,000.
At the Kentwood-Kent-Meridian game the cheer parents sold everything they had. At lunches the students and staff are buying everything.
Because it was so popular last year they added new items this year. The first year it was just pink shirts. Last year it shirts and pom-poms. This year, Shaw said, there are the pink tutus, bracelets and glow sticks in addition to the shirts and pom-poms.
Items were sold out on the second day of offering them to students at lunches in 2011.
“We overstocked this year and added two things … because we needed more items,” Shaw said. “These teachers want to know what’s going to be happening before we schedule. Parents, they’re there, they want to know when they’re going to get their stuff.”
Or the football booster club pre-ordered a stack of shirts, Shaw said.
“They’re just as excited about getting involved as we are,” she said.
It showed in the amount of money raised at the game Sept. 28. Nearly $2,000 was generated through donations and sales putting the total raised at nearly $3,500. For those who didn’t get a chance to donate both Foss’ Market near Kentwood and Bowen Scarff Ford in Kent will collect donations throughout the month of October or log on to www.komenpugetsound.org, go to the Passionately Pink area of the website, search for Kentwood and donate directly online.
In addition, the game day program which will be sold at the stadium will feature survivors and those who lost the battle with cancer, to honor them, Shaw said.
Proceeds from the fundraiser will go to the south King County district of the Susan G. Komen Foundation of Puget Sound.
That’s important, Shaw said, because the proceeds stay in the community.
“It’s just bringing it all back into perspective,” she said.
Contact Covington Reporter Assisitant Editor Kris Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org or (425) 432-1209, ext. 5054.