Last year, the Knoxville girls’ basketball team hosted the second-most profitable Coaches vs. Cancer event in Iowa by raising $4,000 for the American Cancer Society. This year’s event, which begins with a junior varsity girls’ game at 4:45 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26, will be even bigger.
“This is going to be huge,” Varsity Girls’ Basketball Coach Jim Uitermarkt said.
Fund raising opportunities this year include a quilt raffle, a 50/50 paper airplane contest, cookie sales, a tailgate party, t-shirt sales and game ticket sales. Free will donations will also be accepted.
When Uitermarkt was interviewed a week ago, there had already been 300 raffle tickets sold for the quilt. The quilt, pictured at right, is handcrafted by Knoxville Middle School employees Mary Miller, Linda Cowman, Marilynn Avitt, Tamara Stevenson and Nancy Johansen. It features logos of many of Knoxville’s sports and extracurricular activities. Tickets are $1 each and will be sold through the JV game. The drawing will take place Tuesday night at the game.
The 50/50 airplane contest will allow participants to enter a paper airplane they build themselves. Everyone will throw their planes at once and the one that lands closest to the target will receive half the money from the contest entry fee. The other half will go to ACS.
The Knoxville Booster Club is working with Toby Tailgater to provide food at the games. This includes pulled pork, barbecued beef and nachos. All profits from the food sales will be included in the Coaches vs. Cancer donation.
The cookies will be baked by Mary Miller. The basketball team will frost them Monday night. Activities Director Randy Wilson has pledged $1 from each ticket sold to the games to the ACS.
As of Friday, Uitermarkt had so many orders for t-shirts, he had to make multiple requests to his supplier. Shirts are $10 each.
Though the team’s theme is pink, the event is to raise awareness for all forms of cancer, not just breast cancer. There will be an honor wall, with ribbons colored to correspond to the kind of cancer that individual was stricken with.
“I want to do everything we can,” Uitermarkt said. This year’s silent auction has 85 items donated. Last year, there were 10. Every donation is important. Donations include gift certificates, meat baskets, blankets, tupperware, photo albums, autographed team photos, tickets to the Harlem Globetrotters and a mini flip video camera. The camera was donated by Will and Christine Buttell. Their daughter, Anna, fought cancer. Anna was the poster girl for the girls’ team at last year’s event. Cancer is an indiscriminate disease. It is difficult to find anyone whose life has not been affected by it in some way. Uitermarkt said his team will honor two cancer survivors between the girls’ and boys’ games.
Support for the event will be seen on the court as well. The girls will wear pink socks, warm ups and hair bands. The Newton girls, Knoxville’s opponent Tuesday night, are showing their support by wearing pink socks. The boys will wear pink shirts during their warm up.
Uitermarkt says the teams are excited to do what they can to raise awareness and money for the cause. He hopes everyone, including those who do not usually attend basketball games, will come out and show their support.