PAINESVILLE, OHIO – Now in its third year, Lake Erie College's "Taking Breast Cancer by Storm" awareness effort hits the hardwood February 16-18 for a pair of basketball doubleheaders as part of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Pink Wave initiative.
Fans will be admitted FREE when the Storm women's and men's basketball teams host Northern Michigan University on Thursday, Feb. 16, beginning at 6 p.m. and then welcome Michigan Tech University to town on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 1 p.m. The games will be played on campus at the Jerome T. Osborne Family Athletic & Wellness Center.
That Saturday women's contest could have major playoff implications. The Storm (15-6, 9-5 GLIAC) currently trails the visiting Huskies (15-5, 10-4 GLIAC), who were the NCAA Division II national runners-up last year, by a game for fourth place in the overall conference standings. The top four teams will host a first-round GLIAC Tournament game on Wednesday, Feb. 29.
Everyone attending is encouraged to wear pink to support the cause and thought there is no charge for admission, but donations will be accepted to benefit the Women's Basketball Coaches Association's Kay Yow Cancer Fund. In addition, fans will have the opportunity to buy limited edition $5 "Taking Breast Cancer by Storm" t-shirts and $1 bracelets with those proceeds also going to the Kay Yow Fund. There will be raffles, games, contests and prizes throughout the games.
The basketball teams will wear special "Taking Breast Cancer by Storm" t-shirts during warm-ups of those games and their GLIAC road contests during the league's "Pink Wave" Feb. 9-19. The shirts were donated to the cause by Reed Activewear in Painesville. They will also wear pink shoelaces and other accessories throughout the games this month.
"This weekend in the past has been a great way for our student-athletes, coaches, staff, fans and the surrounding community to get involved in breast cancer awareness and show our support for a great cause," said Lake Erie Assistant Athletic Director for Sport Operations and Student Development and Senior Woman Administrator Lisa Liotta. "We expanded the effort this year into the fall and raised a nice amount of money, but this event was the first and is the one that seems to have the most impact. We hope that the fact we have a big game on tap that weekend will draw a lot of interest."
During the month of October, the Lake Erie football team wore pink-themed accessories and pink ribbon helmet decals for their Oct. 15 night game against Grand Valley State University while the volleyball team wore special warm-up tops for its pink-themed weekend Oct. 7-9. The Storm soccer teams also sported warm-up tops and accessories supporting the cause for their home contests during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
To date, "Taking Breast Cancer by Storm" has donated nearly $4,000 to breast cancer research. Yearly the weekend sports the largest crowds of the season to "The O".