Two Hamilton County high school volleyball teams will host Pink Out matches Sept. 22 to raise scholarship funds for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation.
Hixson High School will face Soddy-Daisy High School in a match at Hixson, while Ooltewah will play against Cleveland High at Ooltewah High School.
The teams will accept donations for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation at the gate. Proceeds will be used to fund scholarships for students from Hixson and Ooltewah.
"Breast cancer impacts not only the patient, but their family as well," said Hixson High School longtime volleyball coach Janet Tate, adding that HHS raised $800 for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation in 2010. "Our players have family and friends who have personally fought breast cancer. We want to honor the parents who have been touched by the disease and support an organization that offers hope to their children."
Pink will be the color of the evening as players dressed in pink uniforms take the court in the schools' gyms, decorated with pink balloons and ribbons. Hixson's junior varsity will play at 5 p.m. with a varsity match at 6 p.m. Ooltewah's freshmen will play at 4:15 p.m., with a junior varsity game at 5:15 p.m. and a varsity game at 6:15 p.m.
At about 5:45 p.m., Pink Out volleyball players will present the American flag, sing the National Anthem and hand out pink flowers to breast cancer survivors in the audience or to family members who have lost loved ones to breast cancer.
Tate said she began volleyball matches for breast cancer after attending one of the Ooltewah Lady Owls pink volleyball matches. Her best friend, Hixson's Elaine Peigen, is a breast cancer survivor and the coach of the Ooltewah Lady Owls. Peigen's daughter Libby is a foundation scholarship recipient and plays volleyball for Lee University.
"It all began after I had breast cancer," said Peigen. "I walked into the gym one day and they surprised me with a Pink Night. Ever since, Ooltewah has hosted events to raise money for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation. We go all out and have a lot of fun with it."
Peigen said that through the event the players become aware of how breast cancer affects the family.
"Each player has the opportunity to say who they are playing in honor or memory of," she said. "We raised about $600 for the MaryEllen Locher Foundation last year."