NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

October 17, 2012

Lights will go on in fight against cancer

By Mac Cerullo Staff writer
Newburyport Daily News

---- — AMESBURY — October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and over the next few weeks Amesbury will do its part by painting the city pink, both figuratively and literally.

First, the Tough Warrior Princesses, a local nonprofit dedicated to raising money for breast cancer research, will be selling pink light bulbs throughout the month for its “Light the Town Pink” event. This weekend residents are encouraged to place that light bulb outside their home, business or apartment to show support for those battling breast cancer.

According to Cheryl Woodsom, Tough Warrior Princesses secretary, the bulbs can be purchased from Amesbury Industrial Supply for $5 and all proceeds will support local young women affected by cancer.

Then the following weekend, the Amesbury varsity football team will be hosting a Coaches vs. Cancer game when they face Winthrop at Landry Stadium on Friday, Oct. 26.

Tom Hanshaw, crime prevention officer for the Amesbury police, said the city has partnered up with the American Cancer Society to host a football game dedicated to raising funds and awareness in Amesbury.

“We’re working with the high school, and we’ll have a bunch of pink and purple footballs that will be available for sale that night,” Hanshaw said. “We’re also going to paint the lines pink that night; the endzones and sidelines, instead of being white they’ll be pink. The cheerleaders are also involved, and the players will be wearing pink socks and wristbands too.”

Hanshaw said the initiative began a few years ago when the National Football League and the ACS partnered to raise awareness of the fight against breast cancer. Throughout the month of October, NFL players and referees wear pink on their uniforms during games, a pink ribbon logo will be painted on the field and special game balls and pink coins will be used and later auctioned off to raise money and awareness.

“What the cancer society has done is expand that into college and high school and encourage different sports to do coaches vs. cancer games,” Hanshaw said. “They’ll do different fundraising things. I believe what the high school is doing is they’re going to create a Wall of Hope. We’re hoping that the soccer team does it and maybe in the spring the baseball and softball teams too.”

Janice Portlock, who coordinates the Coaches vs. Cancer program for the ACS in this area, said she’s been impressed with the efforts of the students in town to help make the event a success. She also emphasized that while the event focuses on breast cancer, the money raised will go toward fighting all forms of cancer.

“Coaches vs. Cancer supports all cancer, not just breast cancer,” Portlock said. “All money raised will go toward cancer research.”