Pink jerseys inspire Vail Valley kids’ fundraiser |

Pink jerseys inspire Vail Valley kids’ fundraiser

Lauren Glendenning
Vail Valley, CO Colorado
Lauren Glendenning/lglendenning@vaildaily.comThe Berry Creek Middle School eighth grade girls' basketball team presented Dr. Patti Hardenbergh at the Shaw Cancer Center wih a check for $635. The Vail Valley, Colorado team raised money for the Center by collecting donations from fellow students and selling ice cream at its last home game of the season.

VAIL VALLEY, Colorado ” Berry Creek Middle School’s athletic director Todd Huck watched a television special about cancer that inspired him to try to make a difference locally.

Huck, who also coaches the Berry Creek’s girls’ basketball teams, was moved by the story about Kay Yow, the North Carolina State University women’s basketball coach who died from breast cancer last month. The women on Yow’s team donned pink jerseys ” the color that represents the fight against breast cancer ” in a special “Hoops for Hope” game that showed support for breast cancer. The game is now an annual event.

“I thought that was so cool, and why not do something like that at the middle school level,” Huck said.

The thought of wearing pink jerseys is what initially excited the eighth grade team so much, but when Huck told them what the pink jerseys would stand for, he said their excitement grew.

“It’s such a good feeling to do something for breast cancer,” said player Michelle Rios. “You feel good.”

Several girls on the team said they know someone with cancer, so it was especially meaningful for them to do something to show their support, said player Yoana Gonzalez.

The girls were so passionate about the idea they agreed to pay for the pink jerseys themselves, which included the girls’ last names ” and that means they can keep them now that the season is over.

They wore the jerseys at the last two games of the season, and at the last home game the girls sold ice cream before their game. The Berry Creek student council also helped coordinate a schoolwide fundraiser about two weeks ago where anyone who wore pink to school also donated $1 for the Shaw Cancer Center.

Huck wanted the team to learn about community service and about being selfless. He said the girls understand the meaning behind what they’re doing, well beyond their excitement about getting to don pink jerseys on the basketball court.

The seventh grade basketball players can’t wait to do it next year, he said.

“I’m hoping to do more of this with the other (sports) teams at the school to teach them about giving back to the community,” Huck said.

Lauren Glendenning can be reached at 970-748-2983 or

Support Local Journalism