WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School girls’ volleyball teams will hit the courts against rival high school Scotch Plains-Fanwood for its seventh annual “Pink Out” tournament this Friday at WHS.
The freshman game will kick off the event at 4 p.m., followed by the Junior Varsity match at 5:30 p.m. There will be a serving contest to follow, then the varsity game, starting around 7 p.m. Following the matches, there will be a survivor walk and a tricky tray auction.
“The survivor walk is a special part of the night,” WHS varsity volleyball coach and breast cancer survivor Beverly Torok said. “The women and men who walk through the ‘tunnel’ of players from both teams come out with tears in their eyes, thankful that we are supporting the fight against breast cancer and feeling the emotion that is part of being a survivor.”
After she was diagnosed with breast cancer seven years ago, Torok, inspired the “Pink Out.” When she recovered from surgery and completed chemotherapy, Torok was declared cancer-free. With the support of her team, she organized the tournament to raise awareness of the disease at WHS and help find a cure.
“I’ve known a lot of people affected by cancer and it makes me feel as though we are making a difference in their lives by raising awareness and funds in our community,” WHS senior and varsity volleyball co-captain Kelly Dorry said. “Bev Torok has been an inspiration to us all as a survivor, which makes it extra-special to our whole school.”
By offering free admission to anyone wearing pink, the teams encourage people to show spirit and douse themselves in the color. Players and parents alike say that the sea of pink emits a tangible energy throughout the night.
“The culmination of the event is seeing the whole gymnasium decked out in pink and the spirit of everyone who attends for the cause. This night seems to bring our whole community together for a great cause,” event co-chair Sharon Dorry said.
The WHS Girls’ Volleyball teams support the fight against breast cancer all throughout October, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
“We will soon be putting up our ribbons around the school, around trees and signs, and will have our breast cancer facts and statistics up on solar-lit boards lining the front entrance to the high school,” Torok said.
They’ve also begun using pink flamingo lawn ornaments around town to raise awareness and funds.
All proceeds from this event will go to the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Donations can be made at the “Pink Out” or online at www.komennorthjersey.org/PINKOUT.
“This event has grown in leaps and bounds since the beginning. Last year $40,000 was raised and we feel it is the highlight of the WHS school year,” Sharon Dorry added.
Danielle Pinney is a senior at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Westfield.