EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - All members of the East Brunswick High School girls volleyball teams were at their best. The staff and the administration were involved. The Mother Seton girls basketball teams brought their own energy. Parents were certainly out there, too.
The $3,200 donation to Susan G. Komen of Central and South Jersey was the result of a group effort, supported with enthusiasm, hope and a few good shots over the net.
"This effort represents what a student body is capable of. It's about making sure that people have the resources they need," said East Brunswick Superintendent Dr. Victor Valeski, who spoke for the faculty and the administration. The funds collected were the result of a vast effort, led by the volleyball teams and their parents, that included a "Pink Out" day at EBHS, schoolwide collections, a fundraising sports event, and some cooperative competition from the players and coaches at Mother Seton High School.
Sally Sheperdson, executive director of the Central and South Jersey Affiliate of Susan G. Komen, was there to accept the check and congratulate the girls on their success, reminding them that both men and women get breast cancer. Sheperdson told the story of Susan G. Komen, who succumbed to breast cancer at age 34. Before she passed, Komen asked her sister Nancy to do whatever she could to raise money for the research and care necessary in the fight against this deadly disease.
Shepherdson told the EBHS girls, "She honored the promise she made to her sister. You honored the promise you made, too." She added, "Let's hope that by the time you're Susan's age, there will be a cure." She said that she was "impressed by the girls, coaches, and parents." Shepherdson also shared some gifts of cosmetics from L'Oreal, a Susan G. Komen partner company, with the girls.
The annual volleyball event has existed for several years at Churchill School - where the EBHS volleyball teams play - but the game this year was the most well-attended and supportive, noted Donna Zimmerman, volleyball parent and supporter. Zimmerman also pointed to the good sportsmanship and cooperation shown by the coaches players of Mother Seton High School, who also participated in some fundraising on their end. Churchill principal Mark Sutor said that the event and efforts to support Susan G. Komen are a "good opportunity for the district to help the greater community."
Athletic director Chris Yanazzo was on hand, too, congratulating the teams on their sportmanship, athleticism, and good will. He was joined by Varsity Coach Chris Portera, a Physical Education teacher at Lawrence Brook; Junior Varisty Coach Marc Mondry, a Social Studies teacher at EBHS; and Freshman Coach Greg Rutz, a Physical Education teacher at EBHS.