A Growing Club Meets a Growing Cause

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JVA member Albuquerque Rebels has been a proud supporter of the Side-Out Foundation and Dig Pink for several years. This club's dedication and unification towards finding a cure for breast cancer has influenced us to share its story in hopes of inspiring other clubs to join the cause. At the upcoming JVA World Challenge, we invite participating teams to join the Side-Out Foundation's 1,000 Strong and support Dig Pink. Even if you are not attending the midyear championship in Louisville, we hope that your club will get involved and make a difference like this one has.

By Patty Ader, Co-Director, Albuquerque Rebels

Our club began supporting the Side-OutFoundation & Dig Pink during the club season of 2007/2008 when one of my players lost her mother to breast cancer. She was sort of lost because she did not have her mother to guide her during the very impressionable teenage years. Her father wrote a letter to family members and we shared this letter to raise money for the Side-Out Foundation and cause. We also had a serve-a-thon for teams to raise money for the cause, and that year our club was one of the top supporters for the Dig Pink initiative.

Each year our club has grown and so has our support for finding a cure for breast cancer. This year our goal was for each team to raise $500 towards the cause. Since 2007, our players who attend Dig Pink events wear a pink set of uniforms to show support for breast cancer awareness. The younger players go all out for these events, using pink hair spray, lipstick, shoe laces, etc. All of our lives are touched by breast cancer in some way and our 24 teams giving back is one way that Albuquerque Rebels Volleyball Club teaches our players to be empathetic.

Personally, 1,000 Strong and supporting the Side-Out Foundation is very special to me because I lost one of my best friends at the age of 37 to breast cancer. I think that most people know someone who is fighting this disease. I believe that we all need to do our part in finding a cure for breast cancer because it's not a matter of ifit will touch our lives but when it will touch our lives.

Other ways that our club gives back to the community is by volunteering at a local homeless shelter, working with homeless children, teaching them the sport of volleyball, and volunteering at local senior citizen homes. These experiences have truly brought our players, families and entire club together and made us appreciate the opportunities we have to make a difference through the sport of volleyball.

Players from Albuquerque Rebels 162 Synergy share how important the cause is to them:

"I support Dig Pink because I know what it's like to just watch my mother go through radiation and so much pain and know that I can't do anything about it. I want to raise as much money as I can to help with more research towards this cause, I don't want any other families going through what women who have cancer have to go through. I want to support every woman out there with cancer, because everyone needs somebody. Everybody needs to know that we're there for them, and they don't have to go through this alone. It's a scary process and experience, so it means the world to me to know that not only my family and friends are there for my mom and every other women out there with cancer, even strangers are there for them."

"I support Dig Pink for all the women in the world. Breast cancer is not something you can get through on your own. It changes not only your life, but everyone who loves and cares about you. You can't just take medication, go to the doctor and be done. It is a long process and you need all the support you can get. That is why all of us women need to stick together and be each other's support system. You never know what is in your future so we need to live life to its fullest. I support breast cancer so we can find a cure and prevent more people from having to go through this."
~Michaela"The reason I support Dig Pink is because of the many amazing women who have breast cancer. Women don't choose to have breast cancer or want to. They go through so much pain throughout their treatment and so do their families. Dig Pink lets people my age be able to help support the fight for breast cancer. Dig Pink provides the opportunity for me to help provide those who are looking for a cure more materials to help find the cure. I know people who have cancer both breast and non-breast cancer cancers. Breast cancer is a huge deal and to help be able to find a cure for it would just be incredible, and Dig Pink is a great way to help find a cure."
~Alyssa"I support Dig Pink because it's a good cause and breast cancer is all too common an issue for women these days. My grandmother had breast cancer and I know plenty of others who have it or have had it in the past. It's really hard on them as well as their families and loved ones. I support anything or any cause that might help these women and their families so therefore, I support dig pink."

"The Side-Out Foundation is wonderful. You can donate money to help with research. Another thing you can use Dig Pink for is education. The website has a numerous amount of links to help inform the patient, care giver or maybe even someone who just wants to support breast cancer research."
~Rachel"I support dig pink because so many girls are fighting to cure something that is so hard to cure. By us supporting it every little thing helps. I know that if I was ever to suffer from breast cancer I would want all the support I could get. It does mean a lot to me to raise money and dedicate games/tournaments to breast cancer."
~Jaselynn"I support Dig Pink because it is helping people and a cause. I know many people who support Dig Pink because it is for breast cancer awareness and is helping people's lives."

For club teams that raise $2,200 or more, The Side-Out Foundation and Junior Volleyball Association are donating one club director annual JVA membership. That means coaches can have access to all that the JVA has to offer at no cost for 1 year! Learn more here.


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