VIENNA - The softball and baseball teams from Ohio Valley University are partnering with the Parkersburg chapter of the American Cancer Society to have "Strike Out Cancer" during upcoming home games.
The softball team will have its event on Friday at both the 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. games. The baseball team will follow with its event at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26.
Team members have already been collecting donations from family and friends. They will also pass a bucket in the stands during games to receive donations. The baseball team is selling bracelets that say "Strike Out Cancer / OVU Baseball."
This is the second year the baseball team has participated in this event and the first year for the softball team.
"The main reason we started 'Strike Out Cancer' was to bring awareness to the kids and show them that it's important to give. Almost every family has been affected by cancer. We decided we wanted to do something about it," said Bob Crawford, OVU baseball coach.
Both teams will have special shirts for the games. Many of the team members' shirts will have the name of someone known personally to that team member who has survived or lost the battle with cancer.
The proceeds raised also will support a personal connection. Thomas and Brianne Lodato are both employees of OVU. Thomas Lodato's sister, Tina Pagarelski, recently underwent a double mastectomy for breast cancer. Both Thomas and Brianne are planning to travel to New York City, close to where Pagarelski lives, to participate in the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer in October. Each walker is asked to raise $1,800 for breast cancer research. The money raised at "Strike Out Cancer" will go toward the fundraising for the Lodatos.
"OVU's mission involves providing students with a Christian education, but also showing them that it's important to give back to the community. Cancer has had an impact on all of our lives. Sometimes we feel like we can't do anything, but this is something we can do to honor them," said Dan Lyons, OVU's NCAA compliance coordinator.
If you would like to donate, but are unable to attend one of the games, please make your check payable to Ohio Valley University with Strike Out Cancer in the memo line. For more information about the Avon Walk, visit www.avonwalk.org/new-york.
"We appreciate the community involvement. Our efforts in the past have received great support from the community. They came out to the game and gave," said Crawford.