1,000 Strong

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The JVA is a proud supporter and partner of the Side-Out Foundation's newest initiative 1,000 Strong. As part of the Dig Pink Tour, the 2nd day of the 2013 JVA World Challenge will once again be Dig Pink Day and participating teams are raising money to support SOF's 1,000 Strong campaign. JVA member Texas Image has 3 teams in the top 15 in the country, and our spotlight shines on Texas Image 15 June. This team has joined together not only on the volleyball court but as a family, and is the #2 team in SOF's 1,000 Strong campaign, raising enough money for a JVA membership for their coach, June Stiles. But more importantly, the 1,000 Strong initiative has brought this team together in a very special way.

Rachel and her mom Karen

After learning of a mom's diagnosis of breast cancer at the beginning of the season, Texas Image 15 Mizuno June chose to dedicate the season to her success and victory over this brutal enemy! The team's plan was to wear pink on Sundays in honor of Karen Kubis. Shortly after practices began, Coach June presented the team with a challenge to raise funds for the Dig Pink Foundation. The team was ALL IN with a goal of raising at least $100 per player.

Texas Image 15 June players Tupelo, Skylar, and Rachel gave their thoughts on their team's involvement:

Tupelo: "Being able to help so many people through this cause is so incredible to me, especially watching Rachel's mom fight breast cancer. It gives me motivation to raise more! This is a great cause that I hope to see more people join!"

Rachel: "I'm really excited about supporting the Dig Pink Foundation this year. Texas Image has never done anything like this and I'm happy to support such a good cause. This organization means a lot to me because my mom recently finished chemo for breast cancer. She's been so strong this whole time and I want to show how much she means to me by participating in Dig Pink. I love you, Mom, and keep fighting!"

Skylar: "It makes me feel good to know I'm helping someone else. The thought of raising even $100 per player to go to help find a cure for breast cancer amazes me. I'm glad more and more people are getting involved to help find a cure!"

Texas Image coaches are very supportive of each other, and there are additional teams that are raising funds for Dig Pink. The club has a contest among its teams: the top fundraiser for the club receives a prize, as well as the top fundraising team. Coach June has some incentives built in to encourage fundraising, but those incentives also have quietly built teamwork and pride in her team. Having a goal, as a team, that actually isn't related to a tournament, allows every player to feel included and important, which, again, spills over to volleyball competition, and our team communicates and supports each other on the court.

Coach June: "It has always been important to me to support a cause that affects so many of us in so many ways. The ability to support and to give back through this sport that we enjoy so much makes it that much more meaningful. I've been working with the Side-Out Foundation and the Dig Pink Tour for 4 years now but this year has really taken on another level for me as it hits so close to home. I'm so honored to work with a club that was eager to jump on board and coach a team of young ladies who understand the importance and want to make a difference."

Texas Image 15 June is showing their teamwork off the court through 1,000 Strong, and it has only brought them more success on the court as well. Keep it up girls!

If you would like to participate in 1,000 Strong - click here to get started.


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