Brian Zimmerman (left to right), Kathleen Wilkey and ...
October 16, 2013
Decked out in pink and accompanied by her father, Mokena Junior High School sixth grader Winona Hearne attended the Thursday, Oct. 10, Volley for a Cure fundraiser at her school expecting to be amidst good company supporting a good cause.
"I knew a lot of my friends were coming, so I thought I'd give it a shot," she said, noting many of her teachers had been talking up the event, which pinned district teachers against Mokena firefighters in a three-set Volleyball match, for days in advance.
Hearne, it turned out, was right about her friends.
They filled the school gymnasium's bleachers by the dozen, bringing along parents, grandparents and friends and creating a raucous atmosphere for the big game, which was being held for the second time. Like last year's event, all proceeds generated by the contest (tickets, pink bracelets, T-shirts and a smattering of raffle baskets were sold) will benefit The Cancer Support Center. The center, with its original location and headquarters in Homewood and a second home in Mokena, provides quality-of-life services for individuals undergoing cancer treatments and their families.
Debi Blank, a kindergarten teacher at Mokena Elementary School, got the tradition going last fall and spearheaded this year's effort as well.
"I just brought it up to the guys, and they were all for it," she said, referring to firefighters from the Mokena Fire Protection District, who, like last year, narrowly beat the teachers. "They beat us again, but that's OK. We all had fun."
Michelle Paetow, The Cancer Support Center's manager of special events, was on hand to greet the crowd and thank all involved for their support.
"Events like this are important to the center," she said in an interview. "They help pay for the services we offer," she continued, noting the center helps about 2,000 people annually with a yearly budget of $1.2 million.
"This is what it's all about," she said. "You get to go out in the community and see people we help."
To continue reading and view more photos, login or sign up for Hometown Advantage: