(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds' annual ‘Think Pink Weekend’ raised more than $10,000 dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Varsity Reds women’s basketball coach Jeff Speedy, who spearheads the annual ‘Think Pink’ effort, says cash and on-line donations from the weekend total $10,281.50.
“I’m so thankful for the support this weekend continues to get, year after year,” said Speedy. “It’s the most important weekend of the year. It’s bigger than the game, it’s bigger than any one person.”
The money was raised through raffles, 50-50 draws, the sale of ‘Think Pink’ merchandise, and donations.
The majority of the donations came through participants in this year’s ‘Locks For Love’ hair cut.
15 women, including members of several Varsity Reds teams, as well as local high school and middle school students, donated hair that will be used to make wigs for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
One of those donating hair was Speedy’s own daughter, Kylee.
“There’s 15 kids I’m proud of, not just my daughter,” he said. “For those 15 women, girls, to raise almost seven-thousand dollars and sacrifice something that means a lot to them, it shows the quality of student-athlete we have at UNB and the quality of kids that are in the community that’ll hopefully be at UNB someday.”
This year’s ‘Think Pink Weekend’ was the 11th at UNB, run in conjunction with U SPORTS ‘Shoot for the Cure’ campaign. The national effort has raised over $1.1 million dollars for the Canadian Cancer Society since it began, in the fall of 2007.
“I want my players to give back to the community and I want them to understand, as they become adults, there’s bigger things than basketball,” said Speedy. “We kind of get hung up here on wins and losses, losses of late, but if the most important thing I teach these girls is how to read the defence off a pick and roll, I’m probably doing something wrong.”
This year’s ‘Think Pink Weekend’ was built around women’s and men’s basketball double-headers against Saint Mary’s and women’s and men’s volleyball double-headers with Dalhousie.
But Speedy acknowledges every other Varsity Reds team participates in some way.
“This weekend has taken off, it’s taken on a life of its own,” he said. “We used to have to beg to get players from teams to volunteer. Now, it’s just what we do, and the soccer girls were thanking me for letting them cut their hair, how ridiculous is that?”