By Heather Vita - January 14, 2017
Hard working and dedicated accurately describes the players on the Lakehead University Thunderwolves Women’s Basketball Team. Not only are they elite University athletes, who manage a demanding academic and athletic schedule, but they also find time to give back to our community.
Each winter the team hosts a special ‘Think Pink’ game with proceeds raised directed to the Northern Cancer Fund for breast cancer diagnosis, treatment and research. During the game, players all wear special pink jerseys and play with a pink ball, which is then auctioned off. Each year the game and its associated activities raise between $4,000 to $6,000.
University Thunderwolves Women’s Basketball Captain Katelyn Zen carefully places the plaque outside room 133 in patient care Unit 1A, where patients with cancer are cared for.
This Fall, Captains Katelyn Andrea , Katelyn Zen, and Jerika Baldin, along with Head Coach, Jon Kreiner, visited the Oncology Unit at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre to place a plaque outside a patient room, recognizing the team’s significant gifts to the Northern Cancer Fund. Altogether the ‘Think Pink’ games have raised $35,410.60 since they began in 2009.
“The Think Pink Games have been thoroughly embraced by our fans, and we’re happy we can keep the funds raised local to our community. The games are part of a larger ‘Shoot for the Cure’ initiative that’s organized by the U Sports (formerly CIS) Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, with funds raised across the country to support women,” said Kreiner. “Altogether, this initiative has raised over $1M.”
Team Captains Andrea, Zen and Baldin all feel that the games are a special part of their season. “Our team has been personally touched by breast cancer and it’s important to us to raise funds to support women who are faced with a breast cancer diagnosis.” The Captains also reflected upon leaving a legacy and passing on the passion for philanthropy to their teammates.
Thanks to the Thunderwolves, cancer care continues to expand to serve the needs of patients and families across Northwestern Ontario.