A Riverton High School teacher and a close friend of head volleyball coach Trudy Pecorelli was recently diagnosed with breast cancer and is going through chemotherapy. On a recent day of chemo, all the other teachers wore pink to show support of the battle she is facing.
Pecorelli said she wants to be involved in raising awareness and raising money. “This is a great cause and awareness needs to happen,” she said.
“Swing for Life” was founded when local resident Kathy Howa was diagnosed with breast cancer six years ago. Howa, Rowland Hall-St. Marks School’s softball coach, hosted a fundraiser to aid research for the disease she battled with surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
“I have vowed to do everything I can to help others who find themselves dealing with the same disease,” Howa said.
In 2002, three softball teams participated and raised $12,000 in the first year of the event. Last year, more than 40 teams participated in raising more than $70,000, which was donated to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Howa’s doctor’s names -- Dr. Edward Nelson, Dr. John Ward, Dr. Anne Kennedy and Dr. David Gaffney -- to celebrate the softball coach’s fifth year cancer free. More than $185,000 has been raised since the inception of this annual event.
Howa credited others for the success of “Swing for Life,” specifically the players and Rowland Hall-St. Mark’s athletic director Kendra Tomsic. “They are my heroes,” she said. “They have climbed on my back and followed me every step of the way, lending a hand and raising incredible amounts of money for a great cause.”
For the Oct. 9 game at Riverton, admission will be free but donations will be accepted at the door. Both volleyball teams will be wearing uniforms that say “Riverton vs. Kearns, Oct. 9, 2008, ‘Playing for the Cure,’” and those jerseys will be auctioned off after the game.
“This type of event helps puts things in perspective,” Pecorelli said. “Volleyball is fun but other things are more important.”
Howa also is very appreciative of the many sponsors, participants and donors who make this yearly event possible. “We are making a difference in others’ lives,” she said.
The program has expanded this year to include events all over the state and some major universities in California, Texas, Arizona and Illinois.
For more information, contact Kathy Howa at971-0754 or firstname.lastname@example.org.